Fernando Perdomo — Out to Sea 2
(The Right Honourable Recording Company Ltd FMR029, 2019, CD / DL)
Fernando Perdomo — The Crimson Guitar
(Cherry Red Forward Motion Records, 2019, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2020-02-11
On Out to Sea 2, Fernando Perdomo continues his musical tribute to his favorite artists of the past. On Volume 2, the result is very much like a long-lost Camel album from around 1975. There are a few exceptions to this, such as the oddball “Theme from Dr Leisure,” which reminds me of soundtrack music from a cheesy 70s movie. But for the most part, the tracks are filled with soaring guitar, slightly inflected with the blues, solid keyboards, and catchy melodies. As far as I can tell, all parts are played by Perdomo himself, and he acquits himself admirably all around, even with the drums, which do not sound like they’re programmed.
With The Crimson Guitar, we see a different side of Perdomo’s talent. This is a short album filled with solo acoustic guitar interpretations of King Crimson pieces. For some of them, he extracts sections of the original pieces, the parts that were more acoustic to start with, and leaves out other sections where the original changed directions. He treats them almost as Classical pieces, finger-picking where Fripp used a pick, and very cleverly works the melodies and bass notes into the picking. These arrangements highlight the fact that while King Crimson is probably best known for their heavy playing, they had another side filled with achingly beautiful melodies and lovely melancholy chords. “Erudite Eyes,” at less than two minutes, particularly comes off as a Classical etude until there’s suddenly a bluesy lick. Some of the selections are easy to anticipate, like “I Talk to the Wind,” “Moonchild,” and “Peace (A Theme),” but there are some less likely choices as well: “Starless,” “Prince Rupert Awakes,” and “In the Court of the Crimson King.” King Crimson fans should enjoy these interpretations, and fans of beautiful acoustic guitar music along the lines of Anthony Phillips should enjoy it as well.
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