Niño Josele


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You would be hard pressed to find another recording where a flamenco guitarist interprets the music of Bill Evans. This one has Nino Josele playing select pieces performed and beloved by the modern jazz piano icon, and in three instances composed by him. A variety of settings are used, from solo acoustic guitar, some duo and vocal efforts, guitar-bass-drums, and a few guest cameos. The sound of Josele through Evans is thoughtful, introspective, facile, understated and romantic. Dynamics are shaded with a sweet restraint aside confidence in doing the music justice. The CD opens with the perfect prologue, the Evans overture "Peace Piece," as delicate and pristine a composition as anyone has ever written, played perfectly. Then the pace quickens as Josele and his trio kick up "Waltz for Debby," at first in typical 3/4 time, then in a higher 4/4 gear. The third Evans evergreen "Turn out the Stars" is more typically in flamenco style apart from all the other selections, again with the trio. There are six standards, the highlights being solo guitar samplings of "When I Fall in Love" and a multitude of distinct Spanish styles showcased during "The Dolphin," Jimmy Rowles ballad "The Peacocks" accented by Joe Lovano's piquant tenor sax, and Tom Harrell's trumpet playing an extrapolated melody on the second time repeat during "My Foolish Heart." "Hullo Bolinas" of Steve Swallow may be the unexpected choice of the recording, another slow ballad (of many) done with guitar and Marc Johnson's bass only. Also unexpected but less effective is Freddy Cole's reading of Paul Simon's "I Do It for Your Love." As a whole this project is well paced and placed, executed with plenty of soul, and should prove a discovery for those not familiar with Josele's excellent musicianship.

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