Johannes Linstead

Guitarra del Fuego

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AllMusic Review by

The opening title track of this fine and varied pop flamenco collection would be brilliant if not for one thing -- you could swear you were listening to an outtake from any recent album by rumba flamenco master Jesse Cook. That's a compliment in a way, because it's wild, energetic, and generally much more absorbing than the most popular of the new flamenco gods, Ottmar Liebert. All that said, Linstead tries some unique things that Cook rarely does. He plucks and swings over a sizzling horn section and the occasional trumpet shout on "Mango." His graceful guitar dances with Vasyl Popadoiouk's seductive violin and Linstead's own tasty piano harmonies on "A Mi Guitarra." And he goes a bit folksy in a duet with the wordless vocals of Alla Kadysh on "Suenos En Tus Ojos." The intro to "A Mi Muerte" is like a wild chops contest between guitar and violin; the song then settles into a gentle melancholy tenderness. The clear objective is no doubt to be inspired by the harmonic possibilities of these other instruments, and Linstead eventually carves his own niche in the genre by doing just that. He's also a beautiful balladeer, as the lush "Ilusion" bears out.

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