How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The musical space encompassing classical music, jazz, and flamenco has been a rich territory exploited by guitarists on record: witness the widespread popularity of John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, and their supertrio with Paco De Lucia. Romero's new record, Live at Trinity Church, incorporates all three elements with a special emphasis on composition and dynamic improvisation. Bassist Mario Rodriguez reveals himself to be a virtuoso player in his own rightan ideal counterpart to Hernan Romero's blistering lines on the guitar.
While many recordings in this genre have centered around superhuman agility, Live also focuses on explorations of harmonic space and rhythmic freedom. For a live record, this material tends to be surprisingly tight and deliberate; but, of course, the setting lends itself nicely to the exciting unpredictability of improvisation. Live is quite well-recorded, with intimacy and warmth. At times the vocal passages can be painfully reminiscent of recent sugary-sweet outings by the Metheny Group, but otherwise the instrumental performance is superlative.
Track Listing: El Reynado, Ausencias, La Sofia, Romance, Emocion, Vai, El Concierto.
Personnel: Romero: guitar and vocals; Mario Rodriguez: bass, background vocals, guitar; Oscar Feldman: soprano saxophone and flute; Gilad: percussion; Jorge Perez: cajon.