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Spiros Exaras/Elio Villafranca Project, The: Old Waters New River

Old Waters New River is the new album from Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca and Greek guitarist Spiros Exaras. Both artists, who now live in New York, have a long musical pedigree and bring elements of their upbringing to the music.

This is contemporary jazz, very pleasant to listen to and the playing is top notch. The classical/jazz guitar and piano are exquisitely matched with each instrument given enough space for some interesting solos and rhythms.

The first track, "Habanera", is a traditional arrangement by Villafranca carrying a somber tone at the start before the mood lightens and a romantic feel ensues. Both musicians offer up some tantalizing runs as the tempo changes in accordance with the mood. The title track is an original piece with a playful mood right from the start as the playing is spry and uplifting. The African/Cuban chanting near song's end by Villafranca nicely captures the spirit of the piece. "Cógelo Suave" is an original tune with a relaxing vibe and a feel good Latin flair with wonderful solos from both artists. The wistful "Deer's Leap", inspired by Exaras's daughter, is more contemplative while the album ending "Do You Hear Me?" is a moodier piece reflecting a hint of sadness.

Old Waters New River is a finely crafted contemporary jazz album loaded with artistic brilliance and rich melodies. While I will need to be in a certain mood to enjoy it, this is a record that is hard to find fault with. Released on Harbringer Records.

Track Listing:
1. Habanera "Tu" (6:13)
2. Old Waters New River (7:03)
3. Cógelo Suave (4:17)
4. Deer's Leap (5:19)
5. Gitanos (6:15)
6. My Sweet Canary (5:46)
7. Keeping The Promise (7:24)
8. Shalom (5:29)
9. Rareza Del Siglo (4:34)
10. Do You Hear Me? (6:31)

Added: August 5th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1717
Language: english

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