Amores Libres

Os Amores Libres

by Carlos Núñez

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Piper Carlos Núñez has been blowing alongside the Chieftains since he was 18 years old -- it's no wonder that some of the Irish masters' best qualities have rubbed off on the young Spaniard. OS AMORES LIBRES captures the sprawling roots-music fusion of the Chieftains' latter day work, and musters an army of guest stars…  See more details below


Piper Carlos Núñez has been blowing alongside the Chieftains since he was 18 years old -- it's no wonder that some of the Irish masters' best qualities have rubbed off on the young Spaniard. OS AMORES LIBRES captures the sprawling roots-music fusion of the Chieftains' latter day work, and musters an army of guest stars that Paddy Moloney himself would envy. Drafting Jackson Browne, Madredeus' Teresa Salgueiro, Afro-Celt Sound System's Martin Emmerson and Simon Russell, plus a host of flamenco and Irish music's top players, Núñez assured himself an able crew to carry out his vision. And what a vision it is: Over 12 tracks, Núñez attempts to bridge the airy Celtic strains of his native Galicia, in Spain's north, with the fiery rhythms of the south's flamenco. On the evocative opener, "Jigs & Bulls," Núñez's virtuosic pipes duke it out with guitar fireworks, palmas, and stomping feet. The lights of Spain's new flamenco -- guitarists Vicente Amigo and Juan Manuel Cañizares, bassist Carles Benavent, percussionist Tino Di Geraldo, and vocalist Carmen Linares -- craft a thoughtful dance with Irish musicians Sharon Shannon, Donal Lunny, Derek Bell, and others. Núñez's rigorous research underscores the shared ancient history of Spanish music both northern and southern -- the contributions of Gypsies, Jews, Africans, and Celts throughout the ages. The ambient "Danza de Lúa en Santiago" pays homage to Spain's Arabic legacy, the ballad "A Lavadeira da Noite" invokes Sephardic Jewry, and "Viva La Quinta Brigada" celebrates Irish rebels who fought Franco in the Spanish Civil War. In its culturally inclusive, manifold new vision of Spain, OS AMORES LIBRES is certain to be regarded as a major event in Núñez's homeland. Such a vibrant democratic vision deserves to be celebrated everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Carol Wright
The land of Galicia is eloquently brought into focus on this evocative album by piper Carlos Núñez. A region of Spain's northwest coast, Galicia sits north of Portugal, isolated by mountains and culturally linked to the Celts. Bagpipes, not the flamenco guitar, rule the musical world of Galicia, and Núñez is its ambassador. On OS AMORES LIBRES, Núñez poetically combines the many ethnic threads found in the Galician world -- Celtic, Islamic, Gypsy, and Sephardic Jewish -- and he embraces a myriad of dances, from the triple-time muiñeira to the languid alalás. "Jigs and Bulls" sets the tone, blazing with flamenco guitar (Juan Manuel Canizares), twangy bouzouki (Dónal Lunny), and the sounds of actual dancing, along with encouraging voices. "Muiñeiras da Sorte" (Jigs of Fortune) is recorded over the background of a Sabicas flamenco LP, giving it a scratchy ambiance that takes the imagination back to the rawer music of unamplified days. The album's many solo vocalists -- including Teresa Salgueiro, Carmen Linares, Noa, Mike Scott, Liam Ó Maonlai, and a 1920s recording of Cántigas de Terra -- add a gutsiness that's often lost in the present days of microphones and mixing boards. The liner notes enhance the poetic reach of the pieces, although distinct lyrics and translations would be welcome. The album ends with "O Castro da Moura," a tour-de-force celebration of Moorish and Celtic culture featuring 50 musicians, a dozen exotic dance forms, and vivid sword fights. OS AMORES LIBRES instills a sense of nostalgia, soul, romance, and authenticity missing in so many modern recordings. Viva!
All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
After researching for three years, Núñez has come up with a record that touches on all the strands that have influenced the music of his native Galicia. So, as well as Celtic, there are flamenco, North African, and even Middle Eastern textures to be found on Os Amores Libres, not to mention a total of over 80 guests, making this into a true all-star project. Curiously, though, Núñez seems content to underplay his own remarkable piping skills, only letting fly on the opener, "Jigs & Bulls," where he shows why he has a reputation as a Jimi Hendrix of the pipes. Elsewhere he seems content to play mostly whistles, and often takes a subordinate role to other people, showing very little ego for a project that bears his name. Inevitably, a fair amount of the focus on this disc is Celtic, with Waterboy Mike Scott letting rip on a fair version of the much-abused traditional "The Raggle Taggle Gipsy," while Breton whiz Dan Ar Braz, Chieftain Derek Ball, and uillean pipe genius Liam O'Flynn all help out on the title track. The most interesting material, though, looks in other directions, such as the flamenco-inflected "Muiñeras da Sorte" or the surprising rumba of "A Orillas del Río Sil." There's even a lovely Sephardic Jewish song, "A Lavandeira da Noire," luminously sung by Israel's Noa, connecting the dots between the Holy Land and Spain. Everything reaches a climax on "O Castro da Moura," which brings together Celtic and North African music as over 50 people crowd onto the cut, led by Afro Celt Sound System man Simon Emmerson for an epic 13-minute tour around the world of Galicia. All in all, a daring record, and one that could easily have been swamped by the surrounding names. But Núñez is careful enough to make sure it's the music and not the individual voices that shines, transforming this from a potential disaster into a triumph of scholarship, enthusiasm, and skill.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Rca Victor Europe

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carlos Núñez   Primary Artist,Bagpipes,Flute,Ocarina,Human Whistle,tin whistle,Gaita,Alto Recorder,Low Whistle
Derek Bell   Piano,Harp,Harpsichord
Dónal Lunny   Bouzouki,Keyboards,Bodhran
Jackson Browne   Vocals
Carmen Linares   Vocals
Frankie Gavin   Fiddle
Paddy Keenan   uillean pipes
Sharon Shannon   Accordion
Dan Ar Bras   Electric Guitar
Carles Benavent   Percussion,Electric Bass
Nollaig Casey   Violin
Kevin Conneff   Bodhran
Renaud Garcia-Fons   Double Bass
Tino Di Geraldo   Percussion
Trevor Hutchinson   Electric Bass
Arty McGlynn   Acoustic Guitar,spanish guitar
Noa   Vocals
Máirtín O'Connor   Accordion
Liam O'Flynn   uillean pipes
Liam Ó Maonlaí   Piano,Celeste,Hammond Organ,Bodhran
John Reynolds   Percussion,Drums
Rafael Riqueni   Flamenco Guitar
Sabicas   Flamenco Guitar
Mike Scott   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Manuel Soler   Zapateo
Hector Zazou   Keyboards
Vicente Amigo   Flamenco Guitar
Teresa Salgueiro   Vocals
Phil Cunningham   Piano,Accordion,Keyboards
Ray Fean   Drums
Gil Dor   Acoustic Guitar
Pancho Alvarez   Acoustic Guitar,Bouzouki,Mandolin
Jaleo   Voices
Pablo Gonzalez   Tambourine
Omar Metioui   Vocals,Oud
Abderrahim Abdelmoumen   Vocals
Abdesselam el Amrani Boukhobza   Tambourine,Vocals
Hasan Ajyar   Vocals
Said Belcadi   Vocals
Abdeljalaq Hdaddou   Sounds
Derek Ball   Harp
Haddad Abdelhamid   Vocals
Mohamed Agdour   Darbouka,Bendir,Hand Drums
Ahmed El Gazi   Rebec
Faustino Santalices   Hurdy-Gurdy
Xurxo Nunez   Drums,Bass Drums

Technical Credits

Dónal Lunny   Arranger,Producer,Mastering
Giles Martin   Engineer
Tim Martin   Engineer,Mastering
Brian Masterson   Engineer,Mastering
John Reynolds   Programming,Engineer
Martin Russell   Producer,Engineer
Mike Scott   Arranger,Musical Director
Hector Zazou   Producer
Simon Emmerson   Programming,Producer
Carlos Núñez   Arranger,Producer
Pepe Loeches   Engineer
Luis Carlos Esteban   Engineer
Tim Oliver   Engineer
Marcos Balfagon   Graphic Design
Alvaro Mata   Engineer
Oscar Vinader   Engineer
Manuel Rivas   Text
Ciaran Cahill   Engineer
Pierre Daniel   Engineer
Jorge Barata   Engineer
Omar Metioui   Musical Director
Jonathan Ford   Engineer
Eric Lynn   Engineer
Fernando Conde   Producer
Marko Bussian   Engineer

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