Guitar Passions – Sharon Isbin & friends – Sony Classical

by | Dec 12, 2011 | Classical CD Reviews

“Guitar Passions” – Sharon Isbin, guitar & friends [TrackList below] – Sony Classical 88697 84219 2, 56.5 min. *****:
(Friends: Steve Vai, Stanley Jordan, Nancy Wilson, Romero Lubambo, Paul Winter, Gaudericio Thiago de Mello, Rosa Passos)
This is far from you usual classical acoustic guitar recital.  In another innovative approach to the crossover genre, the 12-track CD is a tribute to Sharon Isbin’s guitar heroes from not only the classical but also the jazz and rock worlds. Most of the works have Spanish or South American roots and seven of them are world premiere recordings.  Isbin is regarded today as one of the world’s top classical guitarists, has over 25 recordings out, and won two Grammys in 2001 and 2002. She was featured on Howard Shore’s score for the Scorsese film The Departed, which won four Academy Awards. She played with Laurindo Almeida and Larry Coryell for five years, so this is not her first foray outside of the classical guitar realm. She is director of guitar departments at both Juilliard and the Aspen Music Festival.
Most of the new compositions are fascinating, and the Spanish flavor adds a lot of interest. The blendings of acoustical classical and electric rock or jazz guitars are all superb.  Paul Winter adds his soprano sax to O Presidente, and the Adagio from Rodrigo’s famous Concierto de Aranjuez is heard in Laurindo Almedia’s arrangement which has Romero Lubambo playing the solo part and Isbin playing the “orchestral” backing.
Roosa Passos contributes a vocal on the lovely Brazilian choro tune Carinhoso. The note booklet contains photos of Isbin with many of the composers and performers having to do with the CD, including Segovia and Rodrigo.

1. Porro
2. Sonidos de aquel dia
3. ‘Adagio’ from Concierto de Aranjuez
4. Asturias
5. Allegro
6. Dreamboat Annie
7. Alfonsina y el Mar
8. Chovendo na Roseira
9. Carinhoso
10. O Presidente
11. La Catedral: Andante religioso
12. La Catedral: Allegro solomne

—John Sunier

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