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****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Maureen Choi Qu4tet: Ida Y Vuelta

Violinist Maureen Choi taps into her Latin roots (just kidding) as she captures the romance of Spain, South America, Cuba and the Caribbean on this seductive album She mixes originals with Iberian covers, teaming up with Daniel Garcia Diego/p, Marlo Carrillo/b and Michael Olivera/dr with guest appearances from Pepe Rivero/ and Javier Colina/b. Choi’s rich strings are able to sway into sensuous melodies, swooping in after a thoughtful into by Diego on the title track, and bring it to a sensuous climax, or can mix percussive pizzicatos with Olivera on the dainty “Vals O Vienes. Her vibrato is bel canto, pleading irresistibly on the tango “Elizabeth” and “Negra Presuntuosa” and saunters on the aria “Dama De Noche.” She and Diego do a lusty table dance on “Bilongo” while Olivera snaps like castinets at a smoky nightclub on the steamy “Capriccio Espagnol.” She and the band dance like lovers on the lovely “Gracias A La Vida” and are suave as the slide across the floor on the low ceilinged “Bolero Del Alba.”
Choi and her team put the romance back in music, reminding us all one of the great reasons for listening-the mood to be wooed!