Remember the first time you heard Al DiMeola's blazing classical/flamenco guitar runs echoing though the night? Well, you'll get that same shiver up your spine after hearing this latest release from Spanish guitarist Johannes Linstead. Mediterranea is his fifth album, and here he continues his chart topping success with ten tracks of exquisite beauty and daring bravado. Whether it be romantic Spanish ballads, or blistering classical runs just dripping with technique, Linstead never fails to impress the demanding listener, or soothe the casual fan.
I mean, a tune like "Evening Embrace" is just so damn lovely, that you would not think twice to put this tune on while you are cooking a scrumptious meal for a first time date, yet the amazing guitar technique will have most aspiring guitarists running for the practice room to mimic the intricate lines. There's lots of Latin percussion, violin, bouzouki, and some keyboards to go along with the killer guitar work, as evident on the mysterious "Hour of the Lamps" or the burning "Sangre Del Toro", which features a jaw dropping guitar solo from Linstead. "Motika" will thrill lovers of Latin/Salsa music with its busy rhythms and bouncy melodies, while "Journey to Alcazaba" is a blazing tour-de-force of impeccable guitar technique that will instantly remind you of the days when DiMeolo, McLaughlin, and DeLucia made acoustic/flamenco guitar music all the rage.
I don't think one needs to be a world music lover or guitarist to enjoy this music. With gorgeous melodies and amazing technical virtuosity, Johannes Linstead has created a collection of songs that will appeal to anyone who appreciates quality instrumental music. Highest Recommendations!