Guillermo Klein & Los Guachos

Los Guachos III

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Determined to forge his own world of sound, Argentinean pianist/composer Guillermo Klein takes a deep breath and expands his canvas to an 89-minute, two-CD set. Los Guachos III is a rather studied-sounding album throughout, invoking the ghost of J.S. Bach, the late 20th century classical minimalists, native dance rhythms, and various Latin and jazz elements with a collection of 17 musicians. Disc one contains a series of mostly tightly-structured compositions that run in their own time, at their own pace. "Tetris" and several other cuts are very loosely based on the E minor Fugue from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. You hear mariachi-style trumpets breaking apart into counterpoint in "Canon"; two rhythm sections in "Espejo" create an intertwining classical collision that flows together. "Web" is neither Latin, neither minimalist, neither chamber jazz, but some peculiar fusion laying in between. Disc two is dominated by "La Futura," a huge, four-movement collective composition that purports to create impressions of life out on the Argentine pampas. Ironically, given its position as the album's magnum opus, it contains the least structured music on the set, with the even-numbered parts straying well into the realm of the free, If truth be told, though, "La Futura" doesn't really hang together or evoke much of anything specific, suggested or not. Hermeto Pascoal's "Hermanos Latinos" closes the album in an oddly light-hearted, carnival-esque manner. Klein is clearly patching together an unusual, inward, cross-continental fusion all his own, and this album indicates that the search process is still underway, not having found its mark.

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