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Spain
Alternative


Jazz great Charlie Haden has reared musically gifted sons and daughters who, interestingly, have not followed Dad's jazz footsteps, but opted for alternative rock turf instead. Petra Haden has done so in that dog. (sic), and Josh Haden, though he plays the same instrument as his father, leads Spain. Spain do have some decided jazz influences, particularly in the refined, spacious arrangements and precise rhythm section, both of which reflect the influence of cool/lounge jazz. But they are most definitely a rock band, performing songs with lyrics and vocals in a sedate but moody style that bears some resemblance to the work of early Cowboy Junkies, or (more vaguely) the Velvet Underground's third album. The songs are slow, but not quite lethargic; reflective, but not quite depressed; moody, but not chilly. Their 1995 debut, The Blue Moods of Spain, was a promising effort, handicapped by the lack of a strong vocalist. As of its release, they were primarily a studio act that had rarely performed live, as its members lived in separate cities; they did not regroup for another record until 1999's She Haunts My Dreams. Two years later I Believe surfaced. Richie Unterberger

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