Custódio Castelo


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Custódio Castelo has made his name as the go-to guy for Portuguese guitar, that gorgeously lyrical and emotive instrument that's as much at the heart of fado as the voice. He can make the instrument sing, cry, do virtually anything, and he does on the compositions on this solo album. Although several of the pieces celebrate the style with which he's linked, many move far beyond that, such as "The Takeoff" and the sweet, sprightly joy of "Onafrodite." But the centerpiece is the lengthy suite of "O Encantador de Tristezas," in three different movements that span a wealth of emotions and showcase Castelo's easy power on the guitar. Sadly, those accompanying him all go unnamed, but they do a sterling job as his equals, not merely in the background, with the clarinetist a standout. It's a disc that bursts with both melody and invention, where one joy succeeds another.

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