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CD review in The Whole Note magazine
Tuesday, 04 April 2006
“Buscando mi voz” was recently reviewed in the April issue (volume 11, #7) of Whole Note magazine.  You can read the review here (see below) or you can read it in the Pot Pourri section of Discoveries at http://www.thewholenote.com/wholenote/index.html “Guitarist Nicolas Hernandez is a true product of his environment.  Born and raised in Canada, he has absorbed some of the many styles of music that make up the modern Canadian musical landscape: blues, Middle Eastern and, in particular, East Indian scales all show their influence on his debut recording Buscando Mi Voz.  But because Nicolas was born to Spanish parents, flamenco has made the deepest imprint.
Traditional flamenco has very rigid parameters that dictate the songs’ form, and for musicians like Nicolas who are creating modern flamenco, these stylistic dicta can pose a problem: How do you create something new and original that is still authentic?  Nicolas has well-established flamenco guitar skills gained through over 25 years of studying with Spanish guitar masters and lately playing with Canada’s own guitar phenom, Jesse Cook, and acting as Musical Director of the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company.  Where he is finding his voice, as the title of the disc states, is via exploration and collaboration with musicians from a variety of musical traditions.  This is best illustrated by Raga por Bulerias, a haunting blend of an East Indian melodic phrase (the raga) and a traditional 12/8 flamenco form (the bulerias) which features tabla player Ravi Naimpally.
The eight original songs on the disc are sparsely populated, sometimes with only percussion and palmas accompanying Nicolas’s lush, melodic playing.  Local “world music” luminaries Art Avalos and Ernie Tollar add congas and bansuri (bamboo flute) and Jesse Cook guests on cajon (box).  Violinist Chris Church, who has apparently been playing enough flamenco to earn himself the nickname – ‘El Cri’, plays on two tracks here.  This beautiful disc may be found at L’Atelier Grigorian or www.nicolashernandez.com.  Cathy Riches”
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