Guillermo Klein

Domador de Huellas: Music of "Cuchi" Leguizamon

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Quite possibly Guillermo Klein's most ambitious effort to date, Domador de Huellas finds the Argentinian pianist/vocalist/composer/arranger exquisitely interpreting songs by Gustavo "Cuchi" Leguizamón, a poet and folk musician from the city of Salta in Klein's native land. Leguizamón, who was also a lawyer, is considered something of a legend in Argentina, his compositions known for their melodic splendor and rich harmonies. Klein's task on this project was to remake those songs in his own image without losing sight of Leguizamón's original intent. He approached them, he has said in interviews, by singing them to himself a cappella, and by transcribing Leguizamón's own arrangements, digging down to the core of each composition before rebuilding them with his own octet. On the album's 14 tracks, Klein allows each song to unfold at its own, often leisurely, pace, erecting tidy, tightly composed but deceivingly expansive orchestrations around the melodies and vocal parts (some rendered in spoken word). Klein's piano work throughout is gorgeous, but this is not a showcase of his own abilities, as each of the supporting musicians, in particular trumpeters Richard Nant and Juan Cruz de Urquiza, Esteban Sehinkman on Fender Rhodes, and bassist Matias Mendez, shine, and a trio of guest vocalists each contribute to separate tracks; Liliana Herrero, heard on "La Pomeña" and the elegiac "Sereneta del 900," is particularly charming. Ben Monder, an American guitarist of some acclaim, accompanies vocalist Carme Canela and the ensemble on "Cartas de Amor Que Se Queman," a lushly arranged ballad. Klein doesn't overreach in his interpretations -- he prefers to keep things simple yet luxuriant -- but while many of the tracks are somewhat restrained, each reveals new layers over time.

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