MEDINA AZAHARA plays song oriented rock with a few symphonic touches, strong Andalusian vocals, and lots of preening lead and rhythm guitars. The tracks range from hard rock to power ballads, not exactly an impressive range. In "El Hakim", the group threw in some fine Spanish guitar licks, but they are not to be found here. About half the tracks on the original CD re-release are at least mildly interesting, but none stand out : "A Toda Esa Gente", "No Quiero Pensar en ese Amor", "La Tierra Perdida", "Tu Mirada" would be in that category, and also adequately represent the limited stylistic breadth. One of the bonus tracks is an alternate version of the excellent "Otono" which originally appeared on "el Hakim". And at this point the group does appear to be recycling, in dire need of a new creative infusion. At this point almost any new direction would be welcome.
Medina was another Bobby Hutcherson/Harold Land Quintet session that didn't see the light of day until over a decade later (recorded in 1969, issued in 1980). Again, it's hard to see why, given the high quality of both the group and their music, which seemed to get lost in the shuffle of jazz's late-'60s upheaval. Granted, it may have been a shade less distinctive than Hutcherson's earliest sessions, but the levels of composition and execution remained top-notch.
The 12" promo version of this.