Title - ‘Rumba Flamenco’ (Putumayo)
Artist - Various
Although world music snobs still 'pooh-pooh' whatever Putumayo puts out, their releases of the last few years have been pretty good and this disc is no exception ! This time around, it's the modern flamenco sound. All these decades later, the Gipsy Kings still cast a long shadow on the world of popular flamenco, as evidenced by the forceful opening number on this fine collection, "Rankankin," by Maita Verde, which bears the stamp of the Kings' virile pop-crossover formula. There's a lot of variety, though, and other tracks on here are more subtle and lyrical, although many, inevitably, drift into easy listening-ish "world music" terrain. Almost all of the bands are Spanish or Catalonian, although it also includes entries by French groups such as the Gitano Family and Ricao, as well as American-based acts such as Ziroq and De Madera. All in all, a sweeping and effective overview of modern flamenco, which ably explores the style's rich Arabic and cross-cultural influences. Recommended !