Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Johannes Linstead - Zabuca (2003)

Genre: World Music, New Age, Flamenco, Acoustic guitar
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2003
Label: Real Music

01. La Cabanita en la Playa
02. Cielo Azul
03. Guayabera
04. Eleni
05. La Rumbita
06. Echoes of the Forest I
07. Echoes of the Forest II
08. Heat in Torremolinos
09. The Bells of San Miguel
10. Zabuca (Shake Up)

While his name is nowhere near as popular as that of Ottmar Liebert, or even Jesse Cook, Johannes Linstead keeps the flamenco tradition very much a force in modern world and new age music by combining traditional fingerstyling with fanciful modern groove ideas. And of course, a sense of melodic seduction that grabs on and can't be shaken. He's pictured on the CD cover holding an acoustic guitar, but his sense of sonic architecture extends to a multitude of instruments (piano, keys, mandolin, wood flute) and arrangement and production. To achieve his overall vision, he thus draws from a wide palette of textures. The title of the recording means "shakeup," which begins with the jubilant and brassy "La Cabanita en la Playa" -- a tune blending precise, speedy fingerstyling with rhythm guitar accompaniment, and jumpy piano chords topped with the mariachi trumpet fire of Alexis Baro. Before you start dancing too quickly, however, Linstead simmers down for the seductive sway of "Cielo Azul." The sensual, horn-drenched "Guayabera" perfectly captures his desire to blend traditional and modern styles; the tune blends classic picking and brass licks with a Santana-esque rock foundation. The gentle "Eleni" reflects the genuine romantic in Linstead's soul, while the two-part "Echoes of the Forest" mixes meditational atmospheres with a little of the Liebert influence. Beautifully written, and excitingly performed and played, this disc summarizes all there is to love about modern flamenco.
Jonathan Widran, All Music Guide

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