Worksongs

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Proclaimed by no less an authority than Los Lobos as ready to carry the torch for Los Angeles's Chicano community, Quetzal embody the soul and the struggle at the heart of the Mexican-American legacy. Their mix of Mexican and Cuban rhythms, jazz, and rock is supercharged by the dynamic vocals of siblings Martha and Gabriel Gonzalez, who could send brown-eyed soul trifles straight to the top of the charts if they wanted to. But Quetzal -- the group is named after main instrumentalist Quetzal Flores, Martha's husband -- use their powers for good. Community empowerment, education, and resistance are some of the unsexy topics that Quetzal make hummable, danceable, and ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Proclaimed by no less an authority than Los Lobos as ready to carry the torch for Los Angeles's Chicano community, Quetzal embody the soul and the struggle at the heart of the Mexican-American legacy. Their mix of Mexican and Cuban rhythms, jazz, and rock is supercharged by the dynamic vocals of siblings Martha and Gabriel Gonzalez, who could send brown-eyed soul trifles straight to the top of the charts if they wanted to. But Quetzal -- the group is named after main instrumentalist Quetzal Flores, Martha's husband -- use their powers for good. Community empowerment, education, and resistance are some of the unsexy topics that Quetzal make hummable, danceable, and anthemic on Worksongs. Their music is informed by radical authors and grassroots tenacity -- the title track makes a plea for the nobility of work, but also for respect and fair wages. Worksongs is also an appropriate title for songs that seem to struggle of their own accord between the liberation of gorgeous music and the gravity of their sensitivities and subject matter. They labor against sanctimony, as well. When romance does enter the picture, it's of the most philosophical sort ("Real love seems to be defined by money, sex, wine and dine -- Do we really have something real?" asks "Relationships"). By contrast, the Spanish lyrics, as on the folkloric "Luna Sol," are poetic and delivered with gusto, but it would be too easy to put this band in the "rock en español" box. Los Lobos producer Steve Berlin agrees, giving the group a big, richly hued sound, muscular with strings and percussion, that deserves to be heard. Listeners who labor along with these Worksongs will find rich rewards at the end of the day.
All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
If Martha Gonzales -- one of Quetzal's lead vocalists -- decided to become a full-time soul or urban contemporary singer, she would probably have a bright future in the R&B field. Gonzales has a very soul-influenced vocal style, and she's quite expressive. But then, someone as eclectic as Gonzales would probably be selling herself short if she embraced one style of music exclusively -- and Quetzal is certainly a great place to be if you have a wide variety of influences. On Worksongs, the adventurous, risk-taking Mexican-American band continues to draw inspiration from many different styles. Rock, soul, and jazz are still parts of the big picture; so are Mexican folk, Afro-Cuban salsa and cumbia both the original Colombian version and the Mexican interpretation. And Quetzal, much to their credit, manage to pull all of these influences together without sounding confused or unfocused; in fact, their experimentation sounds quite organic on this challenging yet accessible CD. One person who proves to be a valuable ally on Worksongs is saxophonist Steve Berlin, the album's producer. Berlin is best known for his long association with Los Lobos--another eclectic Mexican-American outfit--and he has also worked with everyone from Sheryl Crow to Buckwheat Zydeco to Faith No More. Stylistically, Berlin is all over the place; he has so many different Latin and non-Latin credentials, and that's exactly the sort of producer that Quetzal needs. A broad-minded band needs a broad-minded producer, which is why he works out so well on this impressively unpredictable CD. Clearly, Berlin does his part to make Worksongs a rewarding addition to Quetzal's catalog.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/8/2003
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • UPC: 015707973823
  • Catalog Number: 79738
  • Sales rank: 162,250

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 This Is My Home (3:44)
  2. 2 Planta de los Pies (4:32)
  3. 3 Alimentate (3:53)
  4. 4 Worksongs (4:27)
  5. 5 Limones Agrios (4:05)
  6. 6 Decide (3:09)
  7. 7 Learning Solitude (4:47)
  8. 8 Time to Go (3:33)
  9. 9 Luna Sol (3:56)
  10. 10 Relationships (3:29)
  11. 11 Modern Man (3:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Quetzal Primary Artist
Steve Berlin Flute, Clavinet, Machines
Gabriel el Chino Gonzalez Vocals, Background Vocals
Quetzal Flores Guitar, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, Jarana, Bajo Sexto, cuatro, Quijada
Rocío Marron Violin
Dante Pascuzzo Piano, Electric Bass, Celeste, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Steel Guitar, Hammond Organ, Electric Piano, Background Vocals, Acoustic Bass, Piccolo Bass, Bajo Sexto, 12-string Bass Guitar, Leona
Edson Gianesi Percussion, Chimes, Electric Guitar, Tabla, Triangle, Background Vocals, Bells, Berimbau, Caxixi, Pandeiro, Surdo, Cajon, Shaker, Tamborim, Guitar (Nylon String)
Kiko Cornejo Percussion, Conga, Drums, Background Vocals, Cajon, Guiro
Noelle Background Vocals
Cava Background Vocals
Russell Rodriguez Jarana
Martha González Vocals, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Steve Berlin Composer, Producer
Gabriel el Chino Gonzalez Composer
Jose Ramirez Paintings
Robert Carranza Engineer
Quetzal Flores Composer
Robert Hadley Mastering
Quetzal Composer
Dante Pascuzzo Composer, Storyteller
Edson Gianesi Composer
Kiko Cornejo Composer
Ivory Daniel Executive Producer
Martha González Composer
Martha Romero Hernandez translation
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Quetzal - Beautiful CD

    I really like this cd. The blend of music from both new and old times creates a unique sound of great music. I can relate to the themes and messages of each and every song. I feel like Quetzal understands tradition and communicates them passionately through their songs. I highly recommend this album to anyone you enjoys traditional latin music.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews