Paying homage to the music he heard as a youth (ergo the CD title bearing Fender's birth name), Freddy Fender revisits Latin classics like "Rayito de Luna," "Perfidia," and "Noche de Ronda" with elega

Paying homage to the music he heard as a youth (ergo the CD title bearing Fender's birth name), Freddy Fender revisits Latin classics like "Rayito de Luna," "Perfidia," and "Noche de Ronda" with elegance and respect for the traditional form of these songs. La Música de Baldemar Huerta cannot help but sound quaint—it's a throwback to another time. But there's a poignancy and urgency to these readings. Fender's rendition of "Adiós Muchachos," for example, makes you really, really listen to the words for the first time in years. Fender also revisits his old hits "Before the Next Teardrop Falls"—in a bilingual version, complete with mariachi trumpets—and "Secret Love." And although his trademark crooning is sure to entice his country fans, we prefer the Latin nostalgia, which has the makings of a classic.—LC