The extraordinary success in recent years of artists like Ottmar Liebert, Jesse Cook, and Strunz & Farah has demonstrated the ongoing love affair audiences have for flamenco-inspired guitar and the exotic, exploratory gypsy soul that lies beneath its infectious rhythms and gentle grace. New Mexico native Lorenzo Dominguez has played every style of music from classical and blues to R&B and rock, yet when it came time to commit to a solo career, he chose the path closest to his heritage, heart and soul. The title of his latest recording, Alma Gitano (Spanish for Gypsy Heart, naturally) tells us all we need to know about that unbridled lifelong passion and his rediscovery of that wondrous heritage. Dominguez lays bare his soul beginning with the exhilarating gallop down "Camino de Oro," which features his soaring wordless vocals. He shows his love for Middle Eastern influences with a lush violin harmony on the moody, seductive title track before easing into the gentle caress of the romance "Lumbrera." The title "Escorpion" perfectly reflects the soulful tune's sly, crafty melodic movements, while the folksy "Mirando te Dormir" recalls the powerful Spanish vocals he featured on his first recording. Like any song about a challenging love affair, "Novia" moves in an instant from a gentle classical touch to a more aggressive stance. Dominguez goes the vocal route again on the fiery, anthemic guitar/percussion jam "Buleria a Dios" (with Bill Mudd playing a wide variety of rhythmic instruments) and keeps up the zealous pace on the energetic "Tentacion." He then closes the set with three pieces which speak to the thoughtful eloquence of the balladry of his chosen genre -- "Vela Luz" (Candle Light), "Chimayo," and "Prenda de Amor," whose title, translated as "Token of Love," neatly sums up Dominguez's entire approach.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran