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Though everything you'll ever read about Quetzal will undoubtedly reference Ozomatli, Yeska, Los Lobos or even the uber-Chicano Santana, this eight-piece from East L.A. just doesn't sound like any of the aforementioned groups. Dubbed "folkloric fusion" by a reviewer in Frontera magazine, the group represents a new generation of original, forward-thinking Latino music from Southern California. While these Chicano Groove bands, as they are often called, are fairly different from one another, all have a strong sense of Latino musical traditions and owe a considerable conceptual debt to se?or Santana.

OK, so you understand all the cultural issues at play here, but you just want to know what they sound like. Those with a passion for Latin music will note the firm nod to tradition (as on the beautiful, meticulously rendered "Cruz de Olvido"), even if they don't understand Spanish. Those with a passion for folky, jangling guitars and female vocals in the vein of Mazzy Star or The Sundays will be delighted (and will probably learn some Spanish). Beyond that, there really are few precedents or reference points for Quetzal -- you just gotta hear 'em!

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