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Hiram Bullock: Carrasco

As a wonderful omnipresent talent who has played with everyone from Streisand to the Breckers, Hiram Bullock has shown us just about every style and influence around-but the guitarist captures something truly unique and special with his loving Latin-spun effort, Carrasco (Fantasy Records FCD-9679-2; 51:42). The album begins with perhaps its biggest surprise-a samba-fied reinvention of the ’70s chestnut “What You Won’t Do For Love,” also sung by Bullock in a rich, mournful lead over groovy harmonies. Bullock stretches to unexpected corners of the spectrum throughout-where stomping rhythms and wild, spiraling guitar lines make “Montevideo” an explosive Latin-fusion cocktail, “And the Melody Lingers On (A Night in Tunisia)” is a tangled, small ensemble ride, complete with stretching vocalese that would make Jon Hendricks proud. But sterling musicianship is not all that Bullock brings; Carrasco is packed with emotion, from moments of humor (“Bean Burrito”) to the awe-struck emotional resonance of shimmering guitar overtones (“Amazones”).

Originally Published