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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Martirio & Chano Domínguez

By Michael Stone
Published April 27, 2007


Martirio (María Isabel Quiñones Gutiérrez) began her career as a rocker, and has pursued an idiosyncratic singing and acting path, mixing Spanish and Cuban genres with jazz (some may recall her striking work on Compay Segundo’s Lo Mejor De La Vida). Pianist Chano Domínguez’s unique jazz-flamenco style reflects the inspiration of the flamenco guitar greats; his crack trio is rounded out by bassist George Mraz and drummer Guillermo McGill. With Acoplados, Martirio and Domínguez continue their collaborative exploration of the Spanish copla, the popular Spanish song form. It was recorded live in Madrid in January 2004 with the two backed by the RTVE Big Band and Orchestra (a top-notch Spanish national TV and radio ensemble). With a dramatic aura that defies easy categorization, Martirio is at home in the big-band setting on a dozen diverse offerings. She takes the copla back to its medieval Andalusian roots, closing with a haunting lullaby, “Nana Vidalita De Filigranas.”