Johannes Linstead

Sol Luna Tierra

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This is the stirring debut of one of the worldbeat-meets-new age world's top young acoustic guitarists. Johannes Linstead's gift of blending cool rhythms with spicy, lightning-fast flamenco improvisations is further explored on later albums, but his journey begins here on the fiery "Mountain Mist." While his guitar -- which blends the best of traditional and contemporary South American melodies and Latin rhythms -- is always the focus, he also enjoys sharing the spotlight on occasion. On that same track, he's content to move from lead melody to a rhythm role behind the dancing flute of Anja Arvo. Then he's working his magic over the rumbling percussion of Gino Mirizio. Mood and ambience are also an important part of Linstead's world, and he follows the frenetic pace of the opener and breezy "The Temple at Delphi" with the swaying romance of "Don Juan" and "Gypsy Rain." "Mi Angel" is perhaps the best example of the deep emotions Linstead can tap into when he's deep in the mode of dreaming and contemplation.

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