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El Trio - 2009 - "La Blanca y la Gris"

(65:39, 'El Trio')

TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Solo en Cancion 4:51
2.  Dos Grandes 5:12
3.  Sangre del Corazon 4:29
4.  Vicio 4:52
5.  Del Desierto 7:03
6.  Cancion de los Muertos 5:36
7.  La Verdad 6:43
8.  Cancion de Paloma 5:56
9.  No e Como Ante 5:16
10. Juan Quiere Venderla 2:41
11. La Necia 8:14
12. Jessica Saca la Lengua 4:46


Jonatan Pina Duluc – vocals; guitars; keyboards; sax
Kilvin pena – bass 
Johandy Urena – drums 
Eliezer Ramirez – percussion 
Ivan Batista – backing vocals
Dionisio De Moya – guitars (12)
Patricio Bonilla – trombone (9)
Gabriel Martinez – trumpet (9)

Prolusion. EL TRIO hails from the Dominican Republic, where it was formed in 2005 – mainly as the creative vehicle of composer and multi-instrumentalist Jonatan Pina Duluc. The band issued its debut effort “Siempre Que Hay Un Corazon" in 2008, and in November 2009 its sophomore production "La Blanca y la Gris" appeared. Like their first CD this latest effort was self-released by the band.

Analysis. El Trio describes its musical exploits as Latin fusion, but also cites Cream and Jimi Hendrix as additional influences. Their cultural roots as inhabitants of the Dominican Republic do shine through rather distinctly, after all. Personally I'd subscribe to the notion that their escapades deserve better than to be confined within the Latin fusion description they use themselves, even if it is a distinct part of the style they are exploring. Latin rhythms are a cultural trait that is frequently used throughout this disc, while drums and guitars both provide ample documentation for the fusion part of El Trio's repertoire. Sax and trumpets underline this part of the musical territories explored on this disc rather nicely as well. The Latin and the fusion elements are easily discovered and maintain a constant presence throughout, and it is easy to see why the bands members refer to themselves as purveyors of Latin fusion. But just as constant an element on this disc is the use of psychedelic guitar textures, first and foremost in the shape of lazy, laidback echoing guitar licks. I found myself thinking about this act as a creator of psychedelic fusion more than anything else while listening to this effort. Traces of additional styles also pop up on occasion throughout: Easygoing West Coast inspired passages, as highlighted on final track Jessica Saca la Lengua, and heavier guitar-dominated inserts with a closer resemblance to the art rock universe can also be mentioned. Meanwhile, a composition like Juan Quiere Venderla takes a left turn and heads into a curious realm blending psychedelia and punk. Most compositions are fairly elaborate affairs, with shifts in sound and style as well as subtle but clever utilization of disharmonies and dissonances on select occasions. The level of sophistication appears to be well above average too; the compositions come across as carefully crafted and constructed affairs as detailed in plan as execution. The end result is an album of generally high quality, exploring musical territories that often verge on the original and mostly avoid entering realms frequently visited by other artists.

Conclusion. If Latin rhythms and good quality fusion sounds like a good blend to your ears, and laidback psychedelic textures seem like a charming addition to such a venture, then El Trio have made an album that should find its way into your collection with ease. Their only drawback is language, as Spanish lyrics aren't enjoyed by all and sundry, but those who don't mind crossing linguistic barriers or just don't have a preference in that department are in for an interesting ride with "La Blanca y la Gris".

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: June 20, 2010
The Rating Room

Related Links:

El Trio


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