Bay Area native and Berklee grad Eddie Reyes seamlessly melds authentic-sounding Spanish flamenco with Cuban bata and touches of Brazilian, Argentinian, Puerto Rican and Caribbean styles on his second outing as a leader. An accomplished player-composer-arranger-conceptualist, Reyes shifts easily from fingerstyle flamenco guitar workouts on the dramatic buleria “Muana” and the stirring solea “Lalun” to fleet-fingered electric guitar licks on high-flying, Latin-flavored fusion offerings like the spirited bomba “I Remember Esperanza” and the driving “Highland Conga.” Gonzalo Rubalcaba applies his signature touch to the bata-fueled opener “Beast on the Moon” and the title track, a percolating guaguanco that has him stretching in typically heroic fashion on piano.
Multi-instrumentalist Reyes also doubles on organ on the haunting Bitches-Brew-styled jam “Homo Sapiens” and summons up a bandoneon sample on tango-flavored danzon “M.” Trumpeter Wallace Roney appears as special guest on two tracks, offering some fiery exchanges with Reyes’ guitar in between the palmas on the authentic flamenco number “Sweet Fire,” then turning in some Miles-styled funk motifs on “OB’s Groove,” a clever amalgam of bata and hip-hop rhythms with Yoruba chanting and flamenco guitar. Kudos also to electric bassist René Camacho, master-percussionist Ricardo Isaac and drummer Aaron Serfaty for holding all the pieces of this multiculti puzzle in place. Fans of Al Di Meola and flamenco star Vicente Amigo will want to pick up on this highly ambitious world music-informed offering.