Do I hear a bass guitar? No, just bass strings on the same guitar Luis Salinas plays—all solo here. The couple of minutes of “Salsa Pa’ Coco” swing effortlessly, and it’s joy thereafter. “Uno” an example of how to play beautiful on a ballad and the slow “Tangos” are both exquisite and the overall effect soothes deeply. “Latin Bebop” isn’t bebop but an accommodation of boppish lines and rhythms in a native Latin guitar idiom, showing how ideas can be beneficially absorbed into an existing idiom. “El Dia Que Mi Quieras” is more like jazz—a young Herb Ellis on a good night.
“Chacarera Para Adolfo” is a rhythmic tour de force while on “Caricia” the man sounds as if he’s playing (not a glut of notes) but acoustic and electric at the same time. “Papagayo” outplays most bossa performers. “Nubes” is Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages,” not straying far from the original melody. Salinas likes to caress, to evoke a range of beautiful sounds from his instrument, and sometimes while it sings he vocalizes, as on “Balada para Guitarra”, and the sleepy closer “Cancíon Par Mi Juan”. This young Argentinian guitarist is inspired and approaching unbelievable. He has worked with lots of different people on and off record, but was on his own when he recorded the present set in Spain in 1999, and whatever else he’s doing, or will do, Dreyfus Records can be thanked for plucking this one out into international availability.
// Notes from the Road
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