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Juan Carlos Quintero: The Way Home

Guitarist Juan Carlos Quintero finds a comfortable middle ground between authentic roots Latin and contemporary, polished tones on The Way Home (Size 11 Records 67411; 49:25), the first release on Escapada’s smooth jazz imprint label, Size 11. With a neat, clean nylon-string finish, veteran Quintero spins lithe, contagious-falling progressions to keep you guessing. Latin influences support Quintero’s notey runs on the Cuban textured folktale, “El Pueblo” and the flamenco strum-driven cowboy piece “Hermanos,” but the guitarist showcases jazz chops on the light loping tonic, “Spring” and the fierce closing piece, “Porque Si.” Bristling with a whirlwind of flamenco guitar flourish and Latin percussion, this bubbly piece shows why, by virtue of imagination as well as style, Quintero clearly outclasses many of his modern Latin guitar-strumming contemporaries.

Originally Published