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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Russ Hewitt

Cielo Nocturno

Review by Gary Hill

This album is an instrumental set. Often such albums can feel tired or redundant. That's not the case here. This features some exceptional Latin guitar playing. Musically it occupies a space between fusion and traditional Spanish music. The balance shifts from piece to piece. This is quite a solid set. It's also very entertaining.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Presidio

The guitar creates some exceptional melodies on this cut. It has a great Latin groove. It's part fusion and part traditional Latin music. This is an expressive and potent instrumental piece. The guitar soloing mid-track is particularly stunning.

Samba Sao Paulo
Although this is no huge departure, it's another effective piece. It's a bit more on the mellow end of the spectrum. The fusion sounds are classy.
Serenidad
In some ways this feels even more world music oriented. It's another classy tune with some great sounds built into it. It's just a bit of a different flavor.
San Elizario
I really love the groove here. This is quite classy stuff. It has some great instrumental work and a tasty rhythm section.
North of Home
I love the to and fro of the melody on this. It's one of the more instantly accessible melodies of the album. It's also another strong tune on a disc that has no weak material.
Arenas Blancas
This is a powerful and yet rather mellow number. It's a good tune for certain.
Cervezas and Cigars
I love the title of this song. It's a classy tune with some great Latin sounds. The acoustic guitar driving this is so tasty
Um Abraco Do Bossa
This is not a big change in terms of what can be said about it, but the song is not samey at all, really. The powered up movement later in the piece is one of the coolest musical passages here.
Brisa De Monte
A mellow and organic ride, this lands more the fusion vein. It's another effective piece of music for sure. Again, when it gets more intense later, it really ramps up the excitement,
Persian Sky
I think that the guitar on this fast paced number might be the most impressive here. This is very much aligned on the flamenco side of the equation. It's such a classy piece of music, really. It might be my favorite track on the disc.
Hike to La Cruz
We're back into more fusion based territory here. This is another classy cut. It really does feel like a hike (or at least some kind of adventure). In a lot of ways this brings the tasteful journey that is this album to a fitting conclusion. It's been a great trek, and it's one that we can relive whenever we want.
 
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