Sunday, 26 May 2013

Hossam Ramzy Jose Luis Monton - Flamenco Arabe 2 (2006)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Flamenco, Ethno
Original Release Date: 2006
Label: Arc Music

Replacing Rafa el Tachuela with guitarist José Luis Montón, Hossam Ramzy is back for another round of fusion between Middle Eastern sounds and flamenco. Montón has some very nice runs on the guitar, but the Spanish influence here is more in the style of the arrangements than in flamenco guitar. Qanun, oud, and nay feature prominently, with the guitar abruptly entering from time to time for a solo. Where in the first Flamenco Arabe there was an exploration of the fusion of styles coming from two more or less independent aesthetics clashing together into one somewhere around Andalusia, here the aesthetic is more of a Middle Eastern one with a bit of a Spanish beat. The performers are all fine, but the mix isn't careful enough to produce the interesting features that one might hope for. This fusion concept is on fertile ground, but the execution has to be just right to make it Adam Greenberg

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Alphonse Mouzon - Early Spring (1988)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Contemporary Jazz, jazz - funk
Original Release Date: 1988
Label: Optimism

Drummer Alphonse Mouzon covers a lot of ground on this set, ranging from poppish R&B to straight jazz. Two selections have soulful vocals; Mouzon takes a pair of occasionally self-indulgent selections as features for his many overdubbed instruments; and the four instrumental quartet numbers feature either Gary Meek or Ronnie Laws on soprano or (in two cases) the heated tenor of Ernie Watts (who is best on "Seven Steps to Heaven").