Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Some live versions
Enrique Torres | San Diegotitlan, Califas | 01/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another outstanding disc featuring Lola "La Grande" Beltran singing the songs of "El Rey", Jose Alfredo Jimenez. On this disc, which is different from the "las mas bonitas" disc, several of the songs here are taken from live performances. These songs are a particular treat because the interaction between the crowd and Lola is quite evident. As she lays into "Ella" the crowd immediately gives applause before she even begins to sing! On "El Caballo Blanco" she belts out her rendition and between "pueblitos" (small towns) junctions on the song the crowd interrupts into applause in appreciation. Since many of Jose Alfredo's songs are biograpical and come from a male perspective it is uncanny the way she is able to carry the song without regard to gender. On one of the most popular and most identifiable songs by Jose Alfredo, entitled "El Rey" she delivers the song with a tenacity and conviction that transcends gender. After all women are not kings (El Rey) but queens; you forget this simple fact and believe she is the king. Her style was one that ranchera singers since have yet to match for sheer power and credibility. The songs are beautifully done but the recording quality is uneven and quite posssibly because of the different sources. You will have to adjust your volume accordingly . Since several of the songs are live it may be that her mic was too "hot" because it can be little disturbing to the point where you may turn certain songs down a tad. Otherwsie it is a fine musical testament to a bygone era. There are no accompanying musical credits but it is probably the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan that is playing with her. It is unfortunate that credits are not given because on "La Estrella" there is a nice duet with an unknown male voice. This woman had a voice that was very soulful and the depth comes across on this disc. A great collection of Jose Alfredo Jimenez songs by possibly the best female interpreter. She lends her own style that redefines the classics of El Rey that only softens the edges slightly leaving the rough texture of his songs intact. This is a good disc for collectors of Jose Alfredo Jimenez or Lola Beltran music that has survived nearly fifty years for future generations to rediscover their musical roots. This is similar to Linda Ronstadt's wildly popular Mexican albums but without the studio polish; in tequila terms Ronstadt would be a silver and Lola an anejo(aged) that has aged to perfection. A good addition to any collection of old school Mexican music."