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Al Di Meola World Sinfonia: Live From Seattle and Elsewhere

Now that the whole Return to Forever reunion experience is in his rearview mirror (and unlikely to be repeated ever again), guitar star Al Di Meola is pursuing his own musical vision with newfound conviction via his World Sinfonia. Essentially an acoustic ensemble featuring Fausto Beccalossi on accordion and Di Meola’s longtime collaborator Gumbi Ortiz … Read More “Al Di Meola World Sinfonia: Live From Seattle and Elsewhere”

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Egberto Gismonti: Saudações

Fans of Egberto Gismonti probably expected him to play throughout his new two-CD set, but as with Meeting Point, Gismonti’s 1997 ECM outing featuring the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, classical convention trumps jazz tradition. Gismonti is merely the composer of “Sertões Veredas: Tributo à Miscigenação” (“Desert Paths: A Tribute to Miscegenation”), the first disc. His … Read More “Egberto Gismonti: Saudações”

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Sheryl Bailey: A New Promise

Sheryl Bailey eloquently salutes a fellow guitarist, the late Emily Remler, on A New Promise, and, not surprisingly, Wes Montgomery by extension. “East to Wes,” the first of three Remler compositions to surface on the album, finds Bailey fluidly evoking Montgomery’s octaves-gliding touch and Remler’s strong stylistic ties to the guitar legend. The mood is … Read More “Sheryl Bailey: A New Promise”

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Lionel Loueke: Mwaliko

The innovative fingerstyle guitarist (and singer) from Benin focuses largely on a series of intimate duets for his second Blue Note outing, and his partners make for some intriguing choices. His good friend and fellow Benin native Angelique Kidjo appears on two tracks, the triumphant opener “Ami O” and the traditional Benin folk tune “Vi … Read More “Lionel Loueke: Mwaliko”

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Joe Morris Quartet: Today on Earth

To say that Boston-based electric guitarist/upright bassist Joe Morris is prolific would be an obvious understatement. In 2009 alone he released six albums, including this quartet disc. But what’s truly astonishing is the stylistic spectrum he traverses: one lineup and an hour of music simply do not cover the multitude of ideas this man possesses. … Read More “Joe Morris Quartet: Today on Earth”

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John Moulder: Bifröst

Guitarist John Moulder’s new album belongs on ECM. It has the distant, icy sound of a Jan Garbarek record, and it builds its layers like one of Terje Rypdal’s. Bifröst is a vast, expansive piece of work-a landscape of wide-open spaces and big skies with a decidedly Scandinavian feel (even if Moulder is based in … Read More “John Moulder: Bifröst”

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The Dom Minasi String Quartet: Dissonance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Confounding the stereotype of the string quartet in Dissonance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder, guitarist Dom Minasi assembled a group of string players to become the short version of a fifteen person ensemble, which recorded Minasi’s own The Vampire’s Revenge in 2005. Along with Minasi, the quartet includes Jason Kao Hwang on violin, Tomas Ulrich … Read More “The Dom Minasi String Quartet: Dissonance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder”

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