Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Radio Tarifa

  • Cruzado El Rio [World Circuit/Nonesuch, 2001] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Cruzado El Rio [World Circuit/Nonesuch, 2001]
Moorish and/or North African Spain is the idea, beginning with a flamenco colombiana--a folkloric variant that arose in the '30s claiming cross-Atlantic roots, only the hook goes to a Renaissance oboe called a cromornos, one of many medieval instruments on display. Which means that in a time when sensitivity to the Euro-Arab nexus is the way of both justice and survival, what's most original about this band is its translation of medieval into modern--which does constitute a sonic reminder that European culture isn't as pure as Silvio Berlusconi believes. What's most entertaining about it, meanwhile, is its new embrace of the supple and the songful. What's most annoying about it is its fusion and art-rock retentions. B+