Sergio Lara and Joe Reyes, known as Lara & Reyes, present their much-heralded acoustic guitar finesse in a kaleidoscope of world rhythms that are sure to speak to the heart of the most discerning Latin jazz aficionados. Their sixth release on the Higher Octave label finds the duo headlining ten excellent songs that maintain their ebullient Latin jazz patina through the use of great songwriting skills brought to life by traditional and modern instruments. Opening with a lively Afro-Cuban son clave on "Leona," the musicians successfully assert their world-class appeal through this perfect balance of African and Hispanic elements. The mood changes on "Danielle's Waltz," and the listener is transported through their representation to the ambience of a French night scene. The duo develops their program with astonishing clarity and focus that is very much the equivalent of a sonic cruise of artistic freedom. On "Neila," their use of the Indian tabla to get percolating rhythms and their use of the sarod, tanpura, and dud to obtain an exotic touch, is creative assurance that Lara & Reyes have chosen to display highly laudable artistic designs within excellent original compositions. The duo is a truly a joy to hear and World Jazz is to sure to help the reputation of this contemporary team because of their masterful interpretations, songwriting, and the very fact that it exceeds their previous efforts on Riverwalk and Exotico.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein