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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Various Artists

By James Rodgers
Published January 28, 2008

The Rough Guide To The Music Of Brazil
The Rough Guide To Flamenco

World Music Network

These collections are not meant to be complete documentations of a musical style or of a particular country’s music, but more of a jumping-off point for those who want to dip a toe in the water before diving into the pool. The Rough Guide To Flamenco opens the doors to many avenues of exploration, especially for those who only think of the Gipsy Kings when they think of flamenco. And while the Kings are not included on this particular set, there are many artists who play in a similar vein (La Macanita, Tomatito with Camaron). Others are taking flamenco into new and intriguing directions (Sergio Monroy’s jazzy “Mozamo”), adding a modern twist (Ojos De Brujo’s “Sultanas De Merkaíllo”) or instigating a Cuban blend (Son del La Frontera’s “Tangos De Mi Novia”). Even more engaging, due to its wider focus, is The Rough Guide To The Music Of Brazil, although it barely scratches the surface of the many musical facets of the country, it still works as a stellar collection of music—O Karaiva, Nereu, Mylene, and Carlinhos Brown with Tata Monale are but a few of the standouts. Both of these discs are great reference points for expanding musical horizons, but more importantly, they’re also thoroughly entertaining.