Monna Bell & Aldemaro Romero La Onda Nueva Em Mexico

Charged with the daunting task of selling traditional Venezuelan music to a Mexican audience in the early ’70s, premiere Venezuelan orchestral arranger Aldemaro Romero threw convention out the window and turned instead to his most recent creation, an incredibly technical hodgepodge sonic style known as "onda nueva.” The result was this spot-on recording of traditional Mexican classics infused with modern Venezuelan sensibilities and sprinkled with classy bossa nova touches, each interpreted by Chilean pop singer Monna Bell and crafted by an expansive team of the very best jazz musicians Romero had available to him. Tasty treats like "La Bamba” and "Cucurrucucca Paloma” offer a vibrant mix of sweet, syncopated piano and organ riffs, intricate percussion lines, vivid horn blasts and coolly layered, creamy vocal melodies, while the breezy "Xochimilco,” with its voice, flute and electric piano, simply soothes the soul. The fact that this unique musical snapshot was recorded in just 20 short days, and that a governmental objection to its controversial cover art almost rendered the record dead on arrival, makes its back-story that much more compelling and a definite must listen. (Vampisoul)