Best of Esteban
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With his latest release, Best of Esteban, one of the world's most prolific composers and guitarists of our time has not merely created a retrospective. Instead of a simple cut-and-paste collection, the man once known as Stephen Paul took a handful of concert favorites and returned to the studio to reinvent them. The result is a fiery, blues/rock/flamenco melding of the songs that have made him a beloved icon in classical and modern guitar playing.Trademark songs like Fuego Malague¤a - a reworking of Malague¤a from 2001's All My Love have, as the title denotes, been given extra fire, fusing more rock influence into his atmospheric flamenco-based performance. Runaway, Del Shannon's classic, is also seeing life in a completely new way. That song brings back a lot of memories for people who were around back then, Esteban says, seeing it as a bridge to younger audiences as well. Another song bringing back more recent memories is Mediterana, an Eastern-based song in which he plays sitar, backed by the Indian percussive tablas and dumbuk.
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my self drifting away or just simply changing to the next number. That kind of playing would be ok at the concert, where one can actually see him and his band, but not while working around house or driving.
Please dont take me wrong...I love Esteban and have 7 of his guitars, instructional DVDs, he thought me how to play it, and I have almost every CD of his music that there is. Thats how much I love his music. But I would also love to be able to listen and sing with his beautiful guitar. Short and sweet.
Maybe one day!
And just love his spanish guitar and music. Just simply LOVE IT!!!
I hope he reads this, and maybe, just maybe, listen to his listeners.
That being said, I found this CD to be sterile and "canned". No emotion, it sounds like a formula is being followed: get a Spanish groove going, fill it in with a bunch of layers of other instruments. Did I mention the other instruments? At times the guitar almost disappears, lost in the mix.
With all due respect, with references on other reviews to "flamenco" and "master of the guitar", you really need to get out there a bit and broaden your listening. This CD would be perfect for background in a dentist office or elevator.
All in all, very lightweight music.
No, not Ricardo Montalban, either (selling Cordobas with interiors made from the finest Corinthian pleather...), although you'd be excused for the confusion. Montalban is remembered for his role on Fantasy Island, and prime-time TV car commercials. Most people only have a vague recollection of Esteban from his own late-night television commercials, when he hawked his latest album with cornball imagery and track samples. This (largely non-existent) correlation would naturally lead you to think of Esteban as a commercial gimmick artist, and it doesn't help matters that his recordings are often labeled as `New Age'. I think that he would be better served if labeled as a `world' artist, since his recordings have a flamenco flair with an accessibility that reaches well beyond the borders of Spain.
But Holy Jesus, I must be wrong! As I'm writing this, an informercial just popped up on the television with Esteban hawking his latest guitar program! Am I suddenly living in an alternate universe? The truth is probably much more mundane - I hate TV, so I simply haven't seen the Esteban TV segments - but obviously, this guy is a signpost of our culture, like Slim Whitman was in the seventies, only with dark sunglasses and a flat-brimmed hat.
Esteban was taught by Andres Segovia, one of the best classical guitarists of our age, but his career was halted when injuries sustained from a serious car accident prevented him from playing for ten years. When he could finally re-approach his instrument, he did so with a positivity that may be responsible for the unfortunate `new age' tag. This "Best of" collection transcends any such label, and it forces me to take the guy seriously. His choice of material here is a tad obvious, including "Besame Mucho," "Fernando" and "Here Comes the Sun," but his playing is both genuine and original. Other tracks reflect his love for Spanish culture, especially "Fuego Malaguena," "Mediterana" and "Porto Allegro," where his heartfelt performances only add to his appeal as a technically gifted instrumentalist. Those who don't know may snicker, but don't sell Esteban short, because there is more here than late-night television (or prime time informercials) indicate. B Tom Ryan
5 stars because it's called "best" but does not include many of (what I consider) his best works. T
Most recent customer reviews
Im on my second copy of this excellent CD, the first one started to degrade and after opening a new copy: it is...Read more