Peppino D'Agostino's music isn't easy to categorize. Sparks could be thought of as modern instrumental folk, but it's folk with a certain amount of jazz and pop appeal. There are times when D'Agostino's breezy, lyrical acoustic guitar playing makes one think of Pat Metheny, but Metheny is much more of a jazz artist than D'Agostino. However, improvisation is a big part of this CD, and D'Agostino shows himself to be an expressive and very lyrical improviser on relaxed, contemplative offerings like "The Dancer," "Bella Donna" and the Brazilian-influenced "Bossa For Francesco." The Italian guitarist is joined by a few other musicians, including Pat Klobas on bass and Glenn Cronkhite or Marco Zonka on percussion, but his accompaniment is kept to a minimum and he sees to it that Sparks maintains a certain intimacy. Not perfect but generally pleasing, Sparks is D'Agostino's best album.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson