Nati Cano

Viva el Mariachi

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Nati Cano has dedicated his life to spreading the word of mariachi music, and he's done it very, very well. He's worked within the Mexican community, and also with such high-profile figures as Linda Ronstadt. But it's the music he's made that's always been the center of attention, and this collection of '90s recordings shows that it's lost none of its power over the years, as illustrated perfectly on the classic "La Malagueña," with its glittery falsetto vocal swoops and daring arrangement. Cano and his band can cover the full range of the mariachi repertoire, from the lilting ranchera of "Ojitos Verdes" to the rhythmically dense "Los Arrieros." For all the variety, the disc hangs together remarkably well, illustrating not just the character of the music, but of Cano himself, whose expansive personality shines through the entire record.

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