The fourth volume in Trikont’s seemingly insane series of recordings of the Cuban folk song „La Paloma,“ a song that is as confoundingly beautiful and mysterious as it was in the 19th century and lends itself to virtually every nation and genre of music to be interpreted by. There is something itchy about the way it has been adapted — seemingly authentically — by every Latin, European, and American culture of the 20th century, but its puzzle has yet to be solved, there has yet to be a definitive interpretation. The Trikont zanies have thrown a monkey wrench into the plans on this final volume. Instead of giving the year in which the version was recorded, it only offers the country of origin of the artist. This volume tries very hard for a definitive interpretation with its opening number by the great guitarist Laurindo Almeida. His solo instrumental Brazilian samba is faithful to the song’s melody while he charges arpeggios through its center, never losing the song’s fragile essence. If Les Paul were to record this song, it would sound something like this, orchestral on just one instrument and emotionally riveting in its open wonder and artful grace. A few cuts later are a reading from Mabibi Na Mabwana from Zanzibar. Other than the language, the off-kilter violin, and log rhythm percussion, the song sounds like itself with a female chorus singing in tandem seemingly against the rhythm. The Americans make their first entry in the set via the Harmonica Playboys version of the tune. It’s a cool arrangement with Gerry Mulligan and Lee Konitz playing in the horn section, but it’s so sickeningly sweet with that tenor harmonica. The subtle Gil Evans-ish timbres of the reeds give the piece a soft languid color, but then the harmonica comes back and messes it all up. Some of the German and Austrian interpretations aren’t bad, if a little strident, but it are Elvira De Hidalgo from Spain and Pablito and his Pachanga from Cuba that storm the joint down with their passionate inspired takes on the love song of love songs. There are Hawaiian groups, quartets from Cameroon, Finns, Caribbean Islanders, and Belgians, as well, all trying to capture the elusive thread running through this plaintive melody. The last track on the last volume, oddly enough, is by Elvis Costello, Patric Catam, and Sir John Henry, recorded in Berlin specifically for this collection. Unfortunately, it’s a ham sandwich job, all corn and grease and mustard smirk. It stinks, leaving a sad taste in the mouth of a listener who has been at the very least beguiled for the majority of the recording, let alone the set. But that’s Trikont for ya; the only rhyme or reason on their records is theirs.