Oscar Lopez

Armando's Fire

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Continuing his journey into flamenco-fueled ethnic fusion on this, his third release on Narada Records, Oscar Lopez incorporates more smooth jazz elements into Armando's Fire. The music is well played and recorded, but feels a little too familiar, as if the performers are very comfortable taking no new chances. The fifth track, "Frontiers," is drenched in hand chimes and R&B synth beats, while "Romance" feels similarly overproduced and flat. While professionally slick, and admittedly moving at times, the real passion and flame of flamenco seems to come close to flickering out on this recording.

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