Since making his solo debut in 1994, Gypsy guitar wiz Marc Antoine has established himself as one of the most well-known and liked smooth-jazz musicians. His latest, Mediterraneo, released on Dave Koz’s new Rendezvous label, is a gift for longtime fans whose devotion to CDs such as Classical Soul and Madrid helped lift him out of cult-hero status. Those CDs concentrated on Antoine’s flamenco and Gypsy acoustic sound, wrapped around tasty hooks and delicious pop moments. On his last two CDs, however, Antoine-born in France and now living in Spain-strayed into more urban flavors of jazz, ambient, hip-hop and dancehall while keeping an eye on his Gypsy roots. Mediterraneo, however, harkens to the earlier stuff. He opens with “Cubanova,” taking a Cuban sentiment and combining it with a tempting Brazilian bossa nova beat. It’s a classic, enhanced by orchestral strings and Lulo Perez’s trumpet.
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