New Reviews: May 29, 2001

When Two Worlds Meet

When Two Worlds Meet is the second album released by indpendent Australian producer/composer Fred Leduc. The instrumentation includes the use of bass, guitar, keyboard, saxophone and percussion in a contemporary setting. Flamenco guitar stylings, smooth latin grooves and jazzy compositions form the framework of this incredible album. When Two Worlds Meet is mostly instrumental; however, background vocals are utilized on a few of the tracks to accentuate the accompanied melodies. Overall, Fred Leduc has created a magnificent album that is very pleasing to listen to any time of the day. Fans of contempoary smooth jazz/flamenco/latin music will undeniably enjoy When Two Worlds Meet.

Over The Wind
Ardavan Kamkar
Traditional Crossroads

Over The Wind features the solo music of the Persian (Iranian) santur player, Ardavan Kamkar. The santur is a hammered dulcimer that is derived in form from an ancient hand-held harp. The sound resembles a piano and a sitar being played at the same time. The santur has been the primary instrument in Persian classical music ensembles. Additionally, the santur has had equal success in modern solo performances. Ardavan Kamkar is the most exciting and accomplished santur player of his generation in his native homeland of Iran. In the same way, his virtuosity and dexterity are aptly demonstrated on Over The Wind. The santur compositions reflect musical melodies that follow the Persian classical form. The songs are rather similar in form, but varied in texture. Slow and fast melodies resonate with extreme proficiency and accuracy. In summary, Over the Wind is a high quality recording that showcases the amazing talents of solo santur player, Ardavan Kamkar.

Montuno en Neptuno #960
Conjunto Casino
Real Rhythm Records

Conjunto Casino is a Cuban dance orchestra that has been making music since the 1940's. However, older musicians have been replaced with younger musicians to carry on their unique sound. Seventy-year old lead singer Jesus Navarro Jimenez continues the vocal traditions of Conjunto Casino into the 21st century. Several other male and female vocals accompany the Latin percussion arrangements on a few of the tracks. Exceptional instrumentation adds a nostalgic element to the music of Conjunto Casino. Pleasant and upbeat compositions and lively vocals add to the immense musicianship displayed on Montuno en Neptuno #960. Fans of the Buena Vista Social Club and similar traditionl Cuban music groups will certainly enjoy Conjunto Casino.

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss.