Without Walls

Dorantes – Sin Muros!

Sin Muros! (Universal Music Spain, 2012)

With previous recordings Orobroy and Sur, Sevillian pianist David Peña Dorantes is back with his latest Sin Muros!, out on the Universal Music Spain label. Building on his deep flamenco roots and his studies at the Real Conservatorio de Música in Sevilla, Mr. Dorantes draws in the elements of jazz, classical, flamenco and world music flavors and creates a sound that is wholly innovative and wildly lush. And it is with those big, bold musical strains that makes Sin Muros! captivating and artfully immediate and emotional. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a stunning bevy of guest artists, some with family musical pedigrees that go back to the nineteenth century.

The metamorphosed, explosive visions on Sin Muros! are sure to send the often mercurial flamenco critics into leaps of joy or grumbling back into the dark corners of some bar for another glass of Manzanilla.

Potent with hypnotic percussion and ruthlessly powerful piano lines, Mr. Dorantes is impudently reluctant to let the listener off with quaint compositions. There is nothing spare on Sin Muros!, every composition is lushly extravagant even those fashioned out of Mr. Dorantes’s exceptional piano work and vocals.

Opening with the lazily jazzed “Sin Muros Ni Candado” with guest contrabass master Renaud Garcia-Fons and percussionist Paquito Gonzalez and palmas by Los Mellis, Sin Muros! thrums with an intensity. “Errante,” with guest vocalist Jose Merce, offers listeners a full-bodied sound that includes backing singers and a layer of brass that adds to the luster of the piece.

Pairing lovely piano lines with the rough emotionalism of vocalist Carmen Linares on “Libertad Entre Rejas” is a lesson in contrasts that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Sin Muros! just gets better with tracks like “Leguas de Amor” with guest artist Marcelo Mercadante on bandoneon and the darkly mysterious “Refugio” with taiko drummer Kazuma Inoue and fabulous flamenco singer Enrique Morente, who passed away last year. Fans get a live version of “Al Calor de la Manta” with singer Noa and the passion of singer Arcangel on “Una Voz en Alto.”

Mr. Dorantes closes Sin Muros! with the solo piano track “Ante El Espejo” that is a testament to his classical composition skills as much as his virtuosity on the piano.

Sin Muros! is voluptuous and succulent right down to its very center.

Buy the album from Amazon Spain: Sin Muros!

Author: TJ Nelson

TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.

Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.

Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.


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