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  • chrisdumigan

Ibet de Los Angeles : Contradanzas, Danzas, y Otros Divertimentos Tropicales : CD

IBET DE LOS ANGELES: Los Ojos de Pepa; El Somaten; Danza Lucumi; La Comparsa; El Cataclismo; Recuerdos Tristes; Chacumbele; Inevitable; El Velorio; Los Tres Golpes; Pasajero en el Tiempo.

Ibet de Los Angeles

Private release

Cuban classical guitarist Ibet de Los Angeles has here released 13 of her own Cuban inspired pieces, wonderfully recorded, and beautifully played, and although the CD is only 25 minutes, it is a fabulous and very diverse set of pieces that spring out of the speakers at you and really make an impression. We all now need to see these compositions in print, as I would love to play them personally.

Just to mention a few of them, Los Ojos de Pepa, is a very melodic up tempo start to the disc. It’s warm and friendly but too short, as it’s only 58 seconds long. Danza Lucumi has a gorgeous set of harmonies underneath the lovely emotional melody and all set in a lovely dancing rhythm. It is definitely one of my very favourites, and I love the quirky ending! Recuerdos Tristes (Sad memories) is exactly what it says in the title, sad tuneful and memorable, whilst the following track, Chacumbele, is full of percussive slaps, glissandi and very fast runs in between some tightly controlled chordal sections. Inevitable has a haunting melody and a dancing rhythm that endears you to it instantly, and is another standout track, with its almost jazz – like harmonies. El Velorio (The Wake) is suitably serious whilst still in its tango – like rhythm, and another good melody with interesting harmonies. The final three tracks are the longest piece, Pasajera en el Tiempo (Traveller in time), which is in three movements, with the first having an almost constant bass note stabbing under the often very hectic melody and harmony work, the second having a number of string slaps and other percussive effects whilst moving around the fingerboard in a very fast and unexpected style, and the third and final part starting slow and hesitantly, interspersed with some very fast momentary runs and in a quite different style to much of the other material here. The whole suite ends suddenly with harmonics and a rasgueado chord.

The playing is superb, the music she plays is wonderful, and the recording is excellent too. If there is a fault with this CD it is simply that I want more than 25 minutes as it is fabulous, but too short!

Chris Dumigan

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