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Sueños Gitanos, Gypsy Dreams, is a smmokin' Brazilian/George Benson-flavored Jazz guitar outing by the famous Dutch Gipsy Jazz formation which usually tends to operate in the modern-day Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grappelli revival milieu. Not here. In fact, the only nod to the famous Gipsy inventor is "Troublante Bolero", albeit heavily made over.
Instead, flesh out the standard trio setting with a fourth acoustic guitar and electric bass, add percussion and drums, grand piano and keyboards, then set your starry-eyed sights on Al DiMeola's "Mediterranean Sundance" in full-on Selmer guitar twang for an arresting wake-up call. Grab Toots Thielemans' divine harmonica, twirl it 'round Stochelo Rosenberg's monster guitar vibrato in ballad "Bolero Triste" and Glen Miller "Moonlight Serenade" mode and indulge in some romantic nightclub hopping. Twist the throttle for some hi-speed Jazz riffing on "Party in the Ghetto" and "Pepito". Revisit the famous Mandel/Webster tune "The Shadow of your Smile" but hand the Acoustic Alchemy-style lead guitar to a full-blooded Django protege and envision the results. Turn the Czardas moaner "Les Yeux Noirs" into a shifty uptempo waltz with blistering speed runs crisscrossing bluesy piano before a clever bridge leads into a double-timing straight-ahead chaser.
"Just Relax" is both a solo guitar meditation and, like three other cuts, an original Rosenberg composition while the closer "Tocata para Billy Blanco" is a very clever Bach-meets-Rio de Janeiro piano-driven concoction that has Stochelo work over his frets Baroque-style before Peter Beets on the black'n'white keys goes into chordal rhythm mode and the guitar rips through one charged lick after another.
On Sueños Gitanos, variety rules. It invites devotees of the unmistakable Selmer guitar sound to gather in the streets outside the Django Reinhardt church and experience one of the current masters of the Gipsy Swing idiom in very unexpected but fully mature settings that, simply, work like a charm. It's another one of those crossover efforts that erase barriers to bridge styles and thus appeal to broader audiences on both sides of the fence. And in this instance, the fence has more sides than just two. Escher, where are you when we need you?