Welcome to my "guide" to some of my favorite Spanish-language music, stuff from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Latin America and beyond...
This page covers the letter "I"
Roberto Inglez "1945-47" (Harlequin, 1998)
Scotland has offered many Pretenders to the throne, but few as absurd as this mega-schmaltzy Elgin-born pianist, who was advertised (in Portugal) as "the king of samba". In the 1940s, Inglez worked his way up through Edmundo Ros' latin dance orchestra and, as World War IIw came to an end, started his own band. This disc of UK light programme fodder features 24 tracks of instrumental treacle which would do Melanchrino or Montovani proud. Only for the uber-Easy Listening fanatic.
Instituto El Cimarron "Music From Argentina: Folk Music & Tangos" (Arc Music, 2009)
(Produced by Guy Tourville)
A vibrant, multi-textured set from Argentina exploring various folk styles as well as the ever-present tango. Some of the non-tango acoustic numbers are gorgeous, even revelatory, as they show us melodies and styles that were previously heard only on rather arid old records; here, they get a richer, more modern treatment, bringing the folk music of the zamba, the milonga and even a dash of the South American polka out of the dustbins and into the present. And, of course, there's a bunch of tango as well, but as with the folk songs, the tangos feel somehow fresher and more nuanced than the severe, standard-issue stuff we normally hear. Worth checking out!
Inti-Illimani "Lugares Comunes" (Green Linnet, 2003)
A typically diverse, albeit sugary, offering by this Andean-gone-world-pop ensemble. Includes traces of flamenco, gypsy swing, New Age music and soft jazz, with both instrumental and vocal tunes. Fans won't be disappointed, though for the casual listener, some of this may be off the beaten track.
World Music Index