While this disc is touted as the fourth by Ialma, the Galician pandeireta quartet of female voices and percussion, Camiño is a close collaboration between Ialma, the well-travelled and versatile diatonic accordionist Didier Laloy, and Quentin Dujardin, a sort of Belgian Pat Metheny. Both Dujardin and Laloy are prolific, and have performed in a number of formats and genres. This appears to be a new direction for both of these exceptionally seasoned, sensitive and gifted performers, and a nice addition to the sound Ialma has previously explored.
On the thirteen tracks of Camiño, the two Belgians back the quartet, highlighting Galician vocal music with some beautiful four-part harmonies. The four vocalists – Veronica Codesal, Magali Menendez, Natalia Codesal and Marisol Palomo – have a joyful take on Galician tradition. Veronica Codesal and Dujardin have written the music for these songs, many of which are adaptations of traditional lyrics.
Listen carefully and you’ll hear the magic of Dujardin, and the subtle play of Laloy’s diatonic. On “Maneo en Bruxelas,” there is a lovely duet with Dujardin’s slide and the accordion. The pretty intro to “Doutras Terras” is another gem and swings nicely into a lively tune about welcoming strangers.
On “Baila Bela Fada” Laloy has ample opportunity to show off his magical accordion on this lively dance. On “Voa Voa” the singer/pandeiretas and Laloy seem to really be having fun together. “Bicada Pola Lúa” seems a bit long at 5:18, but this is the exception and generally this is a recording that avoids excess.
Camiño is firmly situated in the world music context, with bagpipes, txalaparta (from Bilbao’s Iñaki Plaza), violin, slide, whistle (Ross Ainslie of Perthshire) and a number of other additions not normally associated with Galician music proper, so it’s a crossover release rather than the product of local context. But it comes together organically, with a variety of strong and lively tracks that take Galicia as its point of departure. – David Cox