Flaco Jimenez - vocal & accordion and his conjunto with Fred Ojeda - second voice on # 1, 5, 9, 10, & 13. With Ry Cooder - guitar & mandolin on #8, 11, 12, & 14. With Peter Rowan - vocal & guitar on #2, & 7. With Toby Torres - vocal & bajo sexto on #3. With Oscar Telles - vocal & bajo sexto on #4.
1. La Tumba Sera El Final
2. Free Mexican Air Force, The
4. Did I Tell You
5. Para Toda La Vida
6. Espero Tu Regreso
7. I'm Gonna Love You Like There Is No Tomorrow
9. Mi Primer Amor
10. Yo Quisiera Saber
11. Poquita Fe
13. Te Quiero Mas
14. La Feria Polka
“Mexicans call it `Norteño' Chicanos call it `conjunto.' Anglos (English speakers) call it `Tex-Mex.' It is the music of Texas and northern Mexico, a fiery bar-band sound marked by its soaring accordion leads. In the past few years, thanks to Los Lobos, to Flaco Jimenez's work with Ry Cooder and to the popularity of the neighboring Louisiana Cajun and zydeco musics, conjunto has begun to creep into the Anglo consciousness.
On his new album, Flaco Jiménez and vocalist/bajo sextist Fred Ojeda perform five songs in the style of Los Alegres de Teran. The cuts are superb, better than anything on Jiménez's Grammy-winning last album, `Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio.' The rest of the record shows Jimenez's more adventurous side. Four instru-mentals feature Ry Cooder on mandolin, slide guitar and bajo sexto, and Peter Rowan sings a new version of his cult classic `Free Mexican Airforce.' Jiménez is in top form throughout, contributing strong vocals and dazzling accordion solos.”
(Elijah Wald — Boston Globe)
“Well before the recent interest in Tex-Mex music was sparked by the roots rock of Los Lobos, Texas blues-rocker Doug Sahm, acid-bluegrasser Peter Rowan, and multi-styled, multi-instrumentalist Ry Cooder had already made forays into that rich musical heritage. The cornerstone of that sound for all those recordings was Flaco Jiménez.
Certainly the best known, and arguably the finest "conjunto" accordionist playing today, Jiménez won a grammy in 1987 for his `Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio' in the `Best Mexican-American' category. Here he is joined in three separate sessions by a host of musical collaborators from his thirty-plus-year career, most notably Jiménez' longtime vocal partner Fred Ojeda and his Anglo pals Cooder and Rowan, on fourteen selections featuring his steamy, emotive three-row button accordion playing.
Session A (with Ojeda on bajo sexto and vocals, and Ruben Valle on bass) features five selections drawn from a 1986 San Antonio recording which paid tribute to `godfathers' of Norteño: Los Alegres de Teran. This is classic, hard-core Tex-Mex, and the most striking material on the record.
On the other San Antonio-produced session (1988), Jiménez is joined by Rowan (vocals and guitar) as well as current band members Oscar Telles (bajo sexto and vocals), Isaac Garcia (drums), and Valle again, along with a guest vocal by Toby Torres, Jimenez' vocal partner from the sixties. I could have done without `The Free Mexican Airforce,' Rowan's pot-smuggling song (and one of two vocal contributions on the record), but the other selections are solid.
The Los Angeles 1987 session, featuring Cooder and his recent band, is entirely instrumental. Here Jiménez' always great playing steps more to the foreground, as Cooder provides guitar, mandolin, and bajo sexto in his own inimitable style. Jim Keltner (drums), Miguel Cruz (percussion), Jorge Calderon (bass), Van Dyke Parks (piano), and Don Garcia (alto sax) fill out the four tunes from that session. This is all terrific stuff, and is essential Tex-Mex whether you are a longtime fan of the genre or a recent convert. Thanks to executive producer Chris Strachwitz, a pioneer in making this music available.”
(Mary Armstrong — Sing Out!)