The flamenco guitar duo of Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah—Strunz & Farah—continues to chug along through the years, musical fashions be damned. Ottmar Liebert gave up on flamenco after a few CDs to explore other sounds, but S&F show with their 15th CD that they still hold creative ideas close to their chests.
You can be sure to hear some pretty fast pickin’ on the duo’s Spanish guitars, and there’s always an exotic, Middle Eastern element to their sound, no surprise since Strunz is originally from Costa Rica and Farah from Iran although now both live in L.A. With plenty of percussion, Charlie Bisharat’s violin, Hubert Laws’ flute and Gary Meeks’ soprano sax, there are more than enough ingredients to mix up this tempting stew. With “Pasitos,” “Bello Mundo,” “Azure” and six other original tunes, S&F once again strive for originality and authenticity. There aren’t many hooks here—maybe that’s intentional, or maybe they can’t write one. Anyway, that’s left up to Liebert and similar players such as Canadian Jesse Cook.
Strunz & Farah are best experienced live, but enough of the duo’s energy and passion can be heard in Fantaseo that once again they are ticket brokers to an affordable trip to an exotic land of fancy guitars.