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World Music CD Reviews Europe


By Vince Attard
Published February 17, 2006

Mediterra Nostra

This is a vacation wrapped in a jewel case. The players in Barrio Chino are exceptional, naturally capturing and conveying the sound and spirit of the sparkling Mediterranean. Mediterra Nostra is deeply rooted in flamenco rumba, intermingled with such varied styles as Arabic percussion and smooth jazz. Sibling cofounders Sylvie and Gil Aniorte-Paz deliver delicious, soothing vocals throughout the set, displaying adequate range and mingling as many as four languages into a single piece seamlessly.  From the sizzling opener “Je Te Salue Marseille” to the dance-sexy “Dame la luz,” the musicianship is impeccable, the playing is so precise you’ll swear you hear sheet music pages turning and the musicians’ feet tapping. However, Barrio Chino disregards such extreme caution when exploring the evolving musical soundscape of their hailing region. From Italy to Greece, Havana to Andalucia, festive prayer to gentle polyphony, there’s another inspired holiday within every couplet.