Worksongs (Vanguard 79738-2, 2003)
Mestizaje (or mestizo) is a Spanish word used more and more to describe
musical hybrids in Spanish speaking countries. The Hispanic melting pot in
southern California has been producing some really interesting musical
combinations for many years. East Los Angeles band
Quetzal appeared in the late 1990s with as combination and Spanish and
English lyrics, mixing American sounds with Mexican and other Latin American
influences. Quetzal’s latest CD, Worksongs, continues the hybridization process by
providing American rock, folk and blues melded with Mexican son jarocho,
Afro-Cuban sounds, and much more. As the title suggests, the lyrics talk about
the hard working people who helped build California.
The album was produced Produced by longtime Los Lobos saxophonist Steve
Berlin. He saw the working relationship a perfect fit. “It’s profound, there’s
not enough articulation about what’s going on in East LA [Los Angeles],” he
says. “Worksongs is not just a record; they are the voice of the culture.
We’ve [Los Lobos] carried the torch long enough, and I think Quetzal is the next
to step up and speak for the community.”
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.