3

Luis Munoz: Luz

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Luis Munoz: Luz Luis Muňoz's Luz is an unabashedly romantic paean to Latin music in its various guises. There is, however, nothing syrupy in this enchanting seventh release for the Costa Rican composer and percussionist, replete with "jazzy" creative spontaneity.

Muňoz's impressionistic compositions are carefully arranged around a central theme, allowing adequate space to spotlight individual side musicians. The exquisite tango "Amarilis" features violinist Laura Hackstein's wistfully passionate strings as she plays the head with Astor Piazzolla-like flair. Pianist Adam Asarnow's lilting solo embellishes the melody with intelligent musical twists while maintaining its integrity. Trumpeter Jonathan Dane's burnished yet dark tone blows over the scene like an autumnal breeze.

Dane, having played behind many a vocalist and being one himself, anticipates and properly reacts to singer Magos Herrerra evocative articulation of the lush ballad "Testamento/Mas Alla." This haunting piece, with samba rhythms, is dedicated to Muňoz's wife, Holly Ann. Muňoz's own atmospheric percussion and pianist George Friedenthal's sparse notes frame Herrerra's elegant delivery and sensual voice. Dane's dusky, cool horn is in perfect contrast to Herrerra's ardent writing.

Muňoz also showcases the uniquely talented guitarist and songstress Téka Penteriche. The Sao Paolo native's honeyed and smoky vocals and expressive interpretation give the bossa nova "Al Silencio" an engaging and mysterious feel. Muňoz's own brushed drums and Friedenthal's careful utilization of silence and sound further enhance the ambience.

Friedenthal's short, unaccompanied sonata, "Preludio," is intensely lyrical and deeply contemplative. His edgy approach contrasts nicely with Asarnow's more flowing lines as the two take turns soloing on the sublime waltz, "Vals de la Luz," which also highlights guitarist Christopher Judge's classically influenced improvisations, while Gilberto González (another guitarist) closes this delightful record on a high note with his Mexican folk-inspired duet with marimba virtuoso John Nathan.

With this sublime and intriguing work, Muňoz not only demonstrates his adroitness as a composer and a bandleader but also his skill at recognizing and nurturing talent.

Track Listing: El Sueño de Adán; Invisible; Amarilis; Al Silencio; El Sendero de las Aves; Vals de la Luz; Preludio; Testamento/Mas Alla; Entre El Mar y la Tristeza.

Personnel: Luis Muñoz: drums, percussion, background vocals, piano (2-6); Adam Asarnow: piano (1-3, 6); George Friedenthal: piano (4- 8); Tom Etchart: acoustic bass; Jonothan Dane: trumpet, cornet (2); Téka Penteriche: lead vocal (1, 4); Magos Herrera: lead vocal (8); Bill Flores: pedal steel guitar (2); Laura Hackenstein: violin (3); Narciso Sotomayor: acoustic guitar (3); Carlomagno Araya: drums (5); Ramses Araya: bata drums (5); Tom Buckner: tenor sax (5); Christopher Judge: acoustic guitar (6, 8); Gilberto Gonzalez: acoustic guitar (9); John Nathan: marimba (9).

Title: Luz | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Pelin Music


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
  • The Dead Man by James Nadal
  • Voz by Dan Bilawsky
  • Voz by James Nadal
  • Luz by Jerry D'Souza
  • Luz by Mark Corroto
  • Luz by Hrayr Attarian
  • Luz by James Nadal
Read more articles

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "All My Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review All My Treasures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Crystal Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds" CD/LP/Track Review Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 6, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.