Musicante (Guillermo Diego Ensamble) — Sonoridades Mexicanas
(Paraiso CDGLP034, 1987/1994, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-08-01While not exactly a reissue, this compilation by Guillermo Diego y Musicante includes all of the material from their 1987 album A los Cuatro Vientos, plus two tracks from 1982's Buscando un Tesoro, both of which have been next to impossible to find for quite some time. Their music is a meeting of neo-classical oriented chamber rock, Latin folk and prehispanic themes, for the most part played by a large nine-piece ensemble of flute, clarinet, oboe, three-piece string section, guitars, synthesizer and percussion. The result is a vibrant ethnic fusion that is completely original and unique. Some comparisons could be drawn to Art Zoyd, yet the music here is not quite so angular and abstract — maybe closer to a Julverne with a touch of Aleacion and Jorge Reyes added for good measure. Each of the album's six pieces grows through a series of melodic developments and refinements, often leading through changes in the overall energy level where the neo-classical and ethnic components take turns in the forefront. Ultimately, though, it's the classical elements that tend to dominate most of the pieces, especially on the later material. For those that need to be tied down by the anchor of a steady rock rhythm, this music here may seem too much of an aeriform fantasia; for most, though, this one should please. My highest recommendation.
Related artist(s): Guillermo Diego (Musicante)
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more