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Album Review

Montoya, Carlos -From St. Louis to Seville- [RCA Victor/ BMG]

Thee Opinataur   7/8/2021   12-inch, International

Carlos Montoya was already one of the world’s foremost flamenco guitarists in 1958 when he stepped into a New York studio to record this album with some of the top studio jazz sidemen. It is an album of two distinctions as the name of the album ‘From St. Louis to Seville’ simply states. Side one (Jazz ) highlighted by Handy’s ‘St. Lous Blues‘ is quite remarkable, as Montoya puts his unique interpretation on a classic. However, don’t sleep on Montoya’s original ‘Improvisation’ where he truly immerses himself in the fusion of jazz and flamenco. 

Side two (Flamenco) – While the underlying foundation is traditional flamenco on these tracks featuring several of Montoya originals. What is fascinating as you listen closely is how he shares the limelight with his rhythm section, a collection of some excellent musicians steeped in jazz. Collectively they bring an element of freshness to the traditional framework. 

Carlos Montoya– guitar 

Osie Johnson– drums 

Milt Hinton– bass 

Barry Galbraith– rhythm guitar 

-Thee Opinataur

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