9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
another great one,
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This review is from: Journey Around The Sun (Audio CD)
After Jorge Strunz's amazing solo cd "Neotropical Nocturnes" Strunz and Farah have returned with 'Journey around the Sun'. It is always a challenge to review a new Strunz and Farah cd....but it is a challenge for all the right reasons. It is hard to write something that has not been written about them before because ALL their cds consistently feature extremely beautiful music, guitar playing of the highest caliber and a sound that is uniquely their own. Yet within "their" unique sound they have explored a great variety of melody, rhythm, musical culture, and musical ideas.
Journey around the Sun's song selection is very varied. Immediately one notices a new addition to the Strunz and Farah sound: the presence of flute and/or clarinet (both played by Rob Hardt) on all pieces. Even though S/F has used wind instruments going back as far as their 2nd and 3rd albums, this is the first time these instruments have played such a prominent role in a S/F project. And the results? It actually works quite well. The flute works extremely well in the more latin sounding pieces and the clarinet sounds at home in the pieces which are more gypsy and/or middle eastern influenced. Sonically both instruments mix well with the guitars/bass and percussion.
As usual I love the whole cd but I will leave a few notes on a few of my favorites:
Raggle Taggle: Starts of with a very energetic gypsy type rhythm and some very fast runs. I can imagine belly dancers loving this track to dance to. But then at 6 minutes it switches to an outro which is so beautiful i wish they had extended that by a few minutes or even used it as a base for a completely different tune.
Journey around the Sun: Just kicks butt. Plain and simple. Nice melody. Jorge's solo is amazing. After a hot grooving section it goes to an amazing part of just Rob on flute and Jorge on guitar that again could be the basis for its own piece. At about 6:40 they go into a rhythmic breakdown that lasts just 8 seconds that blows me away and which left me (of course) wanting much more.
Morpho: Just a very beautiful piece of music with distinct sections which all have a different feels. (And, of course, again at around 4:20 a beautiful section only lasting 12 seconds that again left me wanting more.)
Jamilah: Great groove. Has the added violin type intrument kamancheh which sounds really nice on this track and works well with both the guitars and the clarinet.
The Hare: Spellbinding and cinematic....and waaaay too short. 37 seconds of extreme tease. I would love 5 minutes of something like that.
Paseos: Another great piece with lots of variations in rhythms and melodies.
For those new to Strunz and Farah (and especially for ANY musician) I would like to add that for me the first four Strunz and Farah albums (Mosaico, Frontera, Guitarras and Misterio) comprise the absolute Holy Grail of guitar music together with Paco de Lucia's Siroco. (I would have add some of John McLaughlin's acoustic work as well.) These albums feature acoustic guitar playing that is out of this world and still unrivaled decades later. No one else comes close. In fact for me the real Super Trio would be Jorge Strunz, Paco de Lucia and John Mclaughlin. A match made in heaven. Three totally unique players that I think would create beautiful music together. Please someone: Make It Happen!
I am also hoping there will be more solo releases from Jorge Strunz as this will be an outlet for more pieces such as the hare and other material as on Neotropical Nocturnes. Much of this other material has a very cinematic quality which I love. It evokes a lot of emotion.
Another excellent Strunz and Farah release.