Label: Fire Records Release date: 04/10/10 Link: Official Site Buy: Amazon Perhaps not the easiest of recordings to give an overall account of from a lyrical standpoint due to its Spanish language, this is nonetheless an important album for all the history and politics surrounding its original existence. Avant-folk artist Josephine Foster, who, with her last release adapted a collection of Emily Dickinson's poetry to song, apparently has a knack and desire for transporting important and timeless pieces of literature and bringing them into the present. This time around, on Anda Jaleo, she and her partner, musician Victor Herrero, along with his band, offer a contemporary arrangement of Federico Garcia Lorca's collection of folk songs entitled Las Canciones Pupilares Espanolas, which were written between 1921 and '24; finally being published in '27. Despite being banned under Franco's dictatorship, Argentinean flamenco dancer La Argentinita recorded the collection in 1931. This latest take on the folk songs, released this autumn, charts the ability for the collection to live on through generations, overcoming outlawing, language barriers, countries and genres. The three-piece Herrero band perfectly capture the liveliness and spirit of the live recording of eleven tracks of traditional Spanish music. While Foster's impassioned vocals, her prior career as an opera singer superbly assisting here, soar colourfully above the subtle inflections of melody created by what she describes as an “Andalusian jug band playing very energetic and animated music”. It's at once a relaxing and empowering listen; however the challenge of taking on a project such as this is none too surprising given Foster's previous concepts: one a recording of children's songsLittle Life, another A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing offering interpretations of German art songs. Anda Jaleo is a rare record that is completely authentic in sound and production, with passionately projected and effortless vocals, which operatically, but never to the point of ostentation, convey so much emotion. And so swept away by the journey as we are, so vivid being the images of this collection of musicians who we can almost feel in front of us, that by the album's close we are barely aware there was a language barrier at all, such is heart and soul of the artists at work here. Photobucket