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Mano Suave by Yasmin Levy
Released: Oct 2007
Label: FOUR QUARTERS RECORDS
Yasmin Levy's sound encompasses centuries-old Ladino songs she learned as a child in Israel, Middle Eastern instruments and flourishes and Spanish flamenco and pop. It's both a heady blend and an elegant mapping of Mediterranean cultures across space and time organic enough to balance out even Levy's more exotic ingredients (like the Paraguayan harp on "Mal de l'Amor"). Another thing these traditions have in common? Strong female vocals. Levy's got that covered, too, her rich voice soaring over each track and at its loveliest on the title track, a Bedouin-Spanish duet with Natacha Atlas.
Rachel Devitt

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