Composer: Trio Azul
Conductor: Trio Azul
Label: Dragon Lady Records
Release Date: 2009-08-12
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

This collaborative effort from local musicians Azul Barrientos (vocals, guitar), Bett Butler (vocals, piano), and Joël Dilley (bass) injects traditional boleros (“Sabor a Mi,” “Un Poco Mas”) with a lounge-jazz vibe for an album that’d go best with shots of bathtub tequila in a South Texas speakeasy. Barrientos delivers Alberto Dominguez Borras’s “Perfidia” with the broken-hearted betrayal the lyrics merit (over some unexpectedly vibrant percussion from tBow González and Paul Ward), then passes the mic to Butler, whose imaginative English translation proves the feeling is universal. They reverse the trick for Butler’s own “When Love Has Left the Room,” which begins with Butler’s too-depressed-to-move act (though the fierceness in her vocals suggests she’s really laying a trap). Dilley’s low-end workout “Luz de la Luna” follows, and moves the sketches of Spain into surprisingly modern and avant-garde territory, and ‘‘Un Poco Mas” combines three individual sensibilities into a seamless, coherent whole.

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