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Guadalquivir - Guadalquivir CD (album) cover

GUADALQUIVIR

Guadalquivir

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.64 | 24 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What an excellent starting point for Guadalquivir! This Andalusian instrumental quintet really hit an all-time high with their eponymous debut album. Heavily influenced by Return to Forever and post-74 Weather Report, Guadalquivir stood musically closer to Iceberg and Gotic than to their neighbor bands Imán, Cai, Mezquita and others: the reason for this is that Guadalquivir stuck to the logic of jazz fusion and kept itself apart from the symphonic prog realms. The repertoire is solid and very energetic, but its power is not based on the use of two guitars: in fact, the band keeps its rocking potential in a very subtle level, concentrating on the fusion trend: every melodic dialogue is sustained by the sax/flute player and one of the guitarists. Meanwhile the effective rhythm due steals some of the limelight with their superb transmission of Flamenco's intense cadence. It is also noticeable that the Spanish guitar is not very present in the band's overall sound (it is featured in some specific places), but still, the Flamenco roots are expanded all over the melodic lines and their subsequent arrangements. The track that kicks off the album (named after the band and the album) is quite solemn, as if the band was leaving the listener some time for relaxation before the explosion of color and rhythm takes place in most of the remaining pieces. 'Baila Gitana' is all about that, and so is 'Generalife', which IMHO is one of the most prominent numbers in the album: both are real Guadalquivir classics in the minds of those who got to know and love them in the late 70s. In between, the soaring 'Cartagena' brings a moment of solace and magical introspection: listening to this track is like watching a landscape in your inner soul. The use of some smooth string arrangements and the presence of a guest piano player helps to add some majesty to the track's ambience. The last three tracks are the most explosive, finding the band flirting softly with the typical textures of Latin jazz: the band makes recurrent use of the structure of rumba flamenca (a kind of Flamenco closely related to the sensuality of Tropical American folk) in order to keep a solid focus on the increased intensity. 'El Manglis' includes a splendid bass guitar solo, and 'Dominga' starts with a brief prologue of dual Spanish guitars and hand clapping (true to their roots!). 'La Danza de los Tigres' keeps the same trend with added touches of bossanova: the emotion of Flamenco and the frenzy of Brazilian Carnival together make an exciting mixture of energies. In short, "Guadalquivir" is an excellent album from an excellent band.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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