Rodrigo and Gabriela

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Re-Foc (2004) , 6/10
Ridrigo y Gabriela (2006) , 6.5/10
11:11 (2009) , 5/10

Mexican flamenco guitar duo Rodrigo & Gabriela (Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero), who grew up influenced by rock music, displayed their crossover skills on Re-Foc (2002). Dances like Foc, Paris and Georges Street are pure verve and melody. However, Diem and Temple Bar prove that their art is not only speed but also brains (and perhaps a bit of neurosis). New One slips into the lounge atmosphere and the bad influence of easy-listening muzak of the 1960s. A version of Dave Brubeck's Take 5 established their credentials in the jazz realm too.

Ridrigo y Gabriela (2006) was a better engineered balance of flamenco and pop inspirations. The spiraling supersonic melody of Tamacun was matched by the Mediterranean-tinged melody Vikingman and the Peruvian-tinged melody Ixtapa (probably their catchiest theme yet). The Eastern European-tinged bravura show Diablo Rojo led to the cinematic eloquence of Satori. To increase their rock credentials the duo also covered Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven and Metallica's Orion.

Trying to capitalize on that success, 11:11 (2009), the first album to contain only self-penned compositions, ran the danger of sounding like fashionable world-muzak. While some pieces exhibit cute rhythmic tricks (Buster Voodoo, Atman), the likes of Hanuman and Master Maqui fail to achieve the same melodic charm of the previous album. At best many of them sound like a vanity show (Hora Zero). At worst, they come through as aimless. 11:11 is a shameless cocktail-lounge ballad.

Area 52 (2012) was a collaboration with a 13-piece Cuban orchestra.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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