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Album Review

Though he was born in Argentina, has a long-term contract with BMG U.S. Latin and has sold hundreds of thousands of his first five recordings throughout Latin America while touring those regions regularly, Raul DiBlasio's acoustic piano-based music can't be pigeonholed as strictly Latin or having anything to do with true Latin jazz. Each of his recordings has a few nods to his rich heritage, to be sure, but two of DiBlasio's most popular efforts, his 1990 debut El Piano de America and 1994's Piano de America 2, incorporated a variety of his influences - from pop to classical - to create an impressive potpourri of colors he called "music connecting me with the people from all the Americas." Di Blasio rides a similarly diverse, multi-cultural road on Solo (BMG U.S. Latin), which, despite its title, features only one solo piano piece - a subdued reprise of the whimsical title track, which is introduced and then enhanced by the Miami Symphony Orchestra. The appeal lies in the combination of catchy pop hooks, a mix of gentle grand piano elegance with powerful, driving rhythms, and an honest, deeper spiritual expression that is lacking in the average smooth jazz product. While at the core of many of these tunes (most notably, the laid back, atmospheric "Lluvia") lies a simple, eloquent sense of melody which characterizes the music of top new age artists like David Lanz and Jim Brickman, Di Blasio's flair for the dramatic — which translates to his live performances as well — takes the simplest notions to extraordinary heights, often at the most unexpected moments.

Biography

Born: 1949 in Zapala, Argentina

Genre: Contemporary Latin

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Pianist Raúl Di Blasio was born in Zapala, Argentina in 1949, beginning his musical training at age six; initially studying Latin musical traditions like the tango and bossa nova, he was influenced by classical European composers including Beethoven and Rachmaninoff. As a teen, however, Di Blasio discovered the Beatles, and he immediately formed his own rock band, Los Diabólicos, which gained some success nationally and continued on until 1973. He then returned to classical performance, touring South...
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Solo, Raul Di Blasio
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