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Albert Vila: Levity


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Albert Vila: Levity
Levity in these times usually refers to a state of humorousness or lightness of manner. From the liner notes of guitarist Albert Vila's Levity, however, we read that levity was originally thought to be a physical force, like gravity, but pulling in the opposite direction.

But consider a word grown from the same root as "levity," the word "levitation," which refers to rising from the Earth under the influence of an unseen power. In this sense there is no better description of the solo guitar artistry of Albert Vila. His guitar work is light, sparking, and floating it seems along with wispy clouds. It knows nothing of gravity.

On his first solo effort, Vila—who sounds as if he owes a debt to guitarist Ralph Towner—explores seven covers and one original composition with studied deftness as he picks out the melodies inside gorgeous, airbrushed reharmonizations that he lays on with the lightest touch. He plays tunes of of The Beatles ("Eleanor Rigby"), Antonio Carlos Jobim ("A Felcidad"), George Shearing ("Lullaby Of Birdland"), Bob Marley's ("Redemption Song"), Nick Drake's ("Riverman") and more.

Vila's nimbleness and obvious love for the music he has chosen could result in what might be mistaken for a classical recital: sophisticated, understated, polished, presented by a virtuosic player. It is music that could be served up in the tasting room of a posh winery, for very fortunate wine tasters. But the familiar melodies emerge, of a pop song, a jazz standard, a folk tune, or some reggae. He reminds one of Brad Mehldau—another artist with borderless, wide-ranging musical tastes combined with the highest level of musical skills.

The title tune closes the disc, perhaps the lightest of tunes here, and as pretty and engaging as anything that came before it on this outstanding solo outing.

Track Listing

Eleanor Rigby; A Felicidad; Hijo De La Luna; Lullaby Of Birdland; Redemption Song; Everything Happens To Me; River Man; Levity.


Albert Vila

Album information

Title: Levity | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Hypnote Records

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