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La Semana

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 18, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

For the last five years, guitarist Ottmar Liebert has been reviewing and reconsidering his career: variously re-recording, remixing, and remastering his older songs. Initially, La Semana, which translates as 'The Week,' sounds like a stylistic return to that early sound. No electronics, orchestras, or smooth jazz combos - only Liebert on multi-tracked guitar with bass, and percussion, just like on Nouveau Flamenco. Songs like Carousel and La Luna feature Liebert's upbeat mix of deft, precisely picked melody and flamenco groove.

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For the last five years, guitarist Ottmar Liebert has been regurgitating his career: variously re-recording, remixing, and remastering his older songs. Initially, La Semana, which translates as "The Week," sounds like a stylistic return to that early sound. No electronics, orchestras, or smooth jazz combos--only Liebert on multi-tracked guitar with bass, and percussion, just like on Nouveau Flamenco. Songs like "Caroussel" and "La Luna" feature Liebert's upbeat mix of deft, precisely picked melody and flamenco groove. But other tracks, notably "Cocteau," recall the quieter moods of The Hours Between Night & Day. As it moves along, La Semana gets trippy at the edges with snarly electric guitar textures on "Cave in My Heart" and trumpet bleats and backward ambiences on the expansive "Echoes of a Caress." Liebert stretches out on the asymmetric rhythms of "Longing" and creates a minimalist samba with poly-rhythmic palmas (hand-claps) and guitar strums on "Underworld." This is not only Liebert's first album of all-new materiel in five years, it's his most satisfying. --John Diliberto
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 18, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Spiral Subwave Records International LLC
  • ASIN: B0002PYS38
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,871 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you've never heard of Mr. Liebert and his band Luna Negra, this is the perfect introductory album; if you're a fan of theirs to begin with, then you should know never to expect with a new album anything like what they've done before. "La Semana" is perhaps the deepest and most emotional of the 20+ Ottmar albums recorded in the last decade and a half, and it would make a serious claim to being his best if there were indeed any way to measure his best.

Perhaps the first thing that needs to be said about this album is how it flows as a whole...your typical modern album is simply a collection of loose songs. "La Semana", perhaps even more than any of Ottmar's previous albums, flows amazingly well, as if the whole album were one continuous song that you never want to end...you'll never get tired of this album in the middle, and decide to switch off after, say, track 5. There are perhaps two tracks on the album that I don't much care for ("Echoes of a Caress" and "Evening"), and even those are so beautiful they never warrant switching off the album.

However, the album has its share of individual hits--perhaps so much that almost every song can be considered a "hit". This is one of the few albums I have ever heard where each song really means something, nothing seems to be "filler", and it truly shows. Whenever I make a compilation of Ottmar's best songs for a friend, La Semana always seems to be better represented than any other album for this exact reason, every song is astounding in itself. From the funky rhythyms of "AlhambraJackson", to the lovestruck melodies of "La Luna" and the deep, moody, Moorish atmosphere of "Cocteau", every song stands out on its own and from each other. No two songs sound alike, and each is simply captivating...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is a mesmerizing adventure. It takes me to such a variety of places with so many different emotions and feelings. a happy carnival, a night filled with mystery, the lilt of being in a happy place with one I love.

In Cocteau I can imagine I'm a part of a desert caravan or maybe riding an Indian elephant in some glittering procession.

Such variety, from music you just can't sit still to music so deep and touching you must be still because it moves you so deeply and enters so completey that days aferwards that music remains a part of you. I wake in the morning with "Cave in My Heart" still there and I smile. It will be a good day.
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Format: Audio CD
While Ottmar's playing is not flamenco guitar, I play flamenco guitar and I love Ottmar's playing. I believe that La Luna, for example, is a well composed piece of music. I am tired of the bickering between traditional and non-traditional flamenco stylists, just as I am weary of the bickering between traditional bluegrass and "new-grass" players. In the end it is about the music. Liebert has a wide audience while many traditional flamenco musicians could not get an audience if they paid for one.

That said, one can argue all day about compas, duende, flamenco guitars made in Spain versus Ottmar's clearly wonderful DeVoe and Ottmar's audience will still follow him. Are they stupid because they do not follow the duende or passion of your god, or are they able to hear beyond what you will not?

I am sure that I have now fired-up the flamenco mavens. Given a choice I would rather pay to see Paco than Ottmar, but I don't have to choose. I can listen to both, and will. I enjoy each in different ways. Besides, I love the sound of that DeVoe!

La Semana hearkens back to the sound that you may have heard in the early '90s that first drew you to Ottmar's music. If you liked that Nouveau sound, you will like this CD as well. Don't feel guilty about enjoying away!
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Format: Audio CD
Alluring and haunting music which captures your mind, heart and imagination is one way to describe 'La Semana'. It is like a very interesting book which reveals something new with turning of each page. 'La Semana' is like a beautiful painting which you never get tired of seeing day after day.

It's refreshingly original music is the best creation of Ottmar Liebert.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD is outstanding. OL (Ottmar Liebert) takes you on a journey of great performance and musical experience. There is no bad track on this CD - every session let's you experience 15+ years worth of musical talent. Jon Gagan bass contribution is extraordinary - he enriches every track with outstanding bass fills. Great job, great experience!
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Format: Audio CD
This is by far the best album I've heard from the Luna Negra camp in a couple years. Amazing compositions keep the entire album upbeat and fluid. Ottmar seems to find news ways of reinventing the flamenco guitar while keeping up to date on new computer editing tricks as well. I highly recommend this for anyone to have in the home or office!
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Format: Audio CD
The great spirit of music continues with this recording by Ottmar Liebert. The grooves are freely given. Also recommended is the La Semana tour. When listening to the music live, a World Rhythm lives and breathes and makes itself known.
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