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Sir Sultry: Soleangeles

Looking at the cover of Soleangeles from Sir Sultry it is immediately apparent that this album is a meeting of styles, the half and half image of a Spanish vineyard building and its casks of wine merging into the sky scraping skyline of Los Angeles. However to give a full representation of what this release holds in store, these disparate scenes should be completely merged and almost, but not quite, indistinguishable from each other; such is the meshing of Gypsy Flamenco and Jazz presented here. The joins are seamless and the results as smooth yet complex as the best of red wines. That this effort is Sir Sultry's debut, simply makes the whole experience all the more impressive.

The cast list on an album which sways and shimmies from mood to mood, while remaining remarkably focused, is as eclectic as you'd imagine; members or collaborators with everyone from Herb Alpert to Mahavishnu Orchestra and Michael Jackson to Tomatito, amongst many, featuring. Unsurprisingly, the styles combined offer an overriding mood of joy, whether that be a blatant upbeat retelling of good times, or a celebration of the traditional roots this music comes from. The latter is beautifully revealed on "Hermanos", a jazzy piano bouncing joyously off considered Flamenco guitar work; the authentic vocals of Juan Bacan positively dripping with emotion and well worn grace. However it is the likes of the airy, light "Niebla" where gentle hand claps and flute dance in a fashion so sprightly that it becomes almost impossible to resist, or "Smile At Life", which is every bit as delightful as that title suggest, and no less floating and ear grabbing, where the effect becomes really tough to ignore.

Amazingly the whole album came together over just 45 days and it is to the credit of guitarist and band leader Ethan Margolis that rather than sounding rushed, what's contained here is completely organic and natural. Margolis also takes on the vocals on occasion as though his guitar playing weren't envy building enough to great effect, his full rich tones perfect for "Eating Out" and its dark, yet jaunty feel, while his more enigmatic approach to album opener "Before It Gets Cold" adds just the slightest twist of quirky to an already expansive experience.

If you're looking for an album dripping with classy Jazz motifs, the merest hint of a Bluesy cool and yet something a little different, then Soleangeles could well be it. Even if those requirements aren't at the top of your listen to wish list, there's every chance you'll be completely taken by the seductive sounds of Sir Sultry. I know I have been.


Track Listing
1. Before It Gets Cold
2. The Fool
3. La Referencia
4. Hermanos
5. Love Bubbles
6. Soleangeles
7. Niebla
8. Reprising The Fool
9. Smile At Life
10. Eating Out

Added: August 20th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Sir Sultry online
Hits: 1542
Language: english

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