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Music from a Sparkling Planet

New or Used: $25.00
Album: Music from a Sparkling Planet
# Song Title   Time
1)    Cachita
2)    Cherokee
3)    Third Man Theme
4)    Bikina, La
5)    You Belong to My Heart
6)    Paloma, La
7)    Cachito
8)    Granada
9)    Question Mark (What Can You Do)
10)    My Blue Heaven
11)    All of Me
12)    Poinciana
13)    Flower Girl of Bordeaux
14)    Boulevard of Broken Dreams, The
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Juan Garcia Esquivel (conductor).
  • Producer: Neely Plumb, Johnny Camacho, Mariano Rivero Conde.
  • Compilation producer: Irwin Chusid.
  • Personnel: Esquivel (piano).
  • Liner Note Authors: Tom Prendergast; Glenn Morrow; Bobby Strickland ; Irwin Chusid.
  • Photographers: Sergio Esquivel; Yvonne Debourbon Rodriguez.
  • Arranger: Esquivel.
  • Esquivel's music experienced a resurgence in the 1990s, some 40 years after the eclectic composer, musician, and bandleader began recording. The 1995 compilation MUSIC FROM A SPARKLING PLANET focuses on the Mexican composer and arranger's zanier side. Throughout the collection, selections are heavily flavored with madcap tempos, odd juxtapositions of instruments (Fender Rhodes and violins), found sounds, crooning back-up vocals (many of the tracks here feature a female chorus singing "zoo" or "whee" in unison), and a generally cartoon-like sensibility.
  • Though Esquivel's tongue-in-cheek, mad-scientist approach may be too much for some listeners, there is an undeniable charm here. The lounge/big-band swing change-up of "Granada," the swaying theatricality of "Cherokee," and the uber-smooth cha-cha of "La Paloma" are enough to induce big grins and Austin Powers-eque shouts of "Groovy, baby!" Yet the complexity, variety, and wit of Esquivel's arrangements (not to mention his fine piano playing) impress throughout. (How did he think to pair a xylophone duet with a whistling solo?) This is inventive and supremely fun music.
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (6/30-7/7/95, p.101) - "A second reissue of the '60s Mexican mood-music master could almost be a precursor to Jamaican dub, what with its primitive stereo tricks and cork-popping reverb..." - Rating: B

Down Beat (1/96, p.50) - 3.5 Stars - Good/Very Good - "...Esquivel's swinging, often witty arrangements are distinctive for the leader's grandiose piano and the emphatic horns (used for 'bam! pow!' punctuation), vibes and Latin percussion....It's way too weird to be truly `easy-listening'..."
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