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Album Review

Lara & Reyes, Strunz & Farah, Acoustic Alchemy. No offense to nouveau flamenco pioneer Ottmar Liebert, but for some reason, no matter how engaging an acoustic guitarist can be working solo, there's a special magic that happens when two brilliant players mix attitudes, melodies, rhythms, and sensuality. Especially when it comes to the kind of magical flamenco-flavored material favored by the Washington, D.C.-based duo of Lawson Rollins and Dan Young. The vibrant, rolling grooves, colorful percussion, and snappy strings of the opening title cut — combined with the graceful, swaying breezes of "Mediterranean Romance" — will provide a familiar flamenco touch for the listener. But Young & Rollins don't call their project Mosaic just because it's a pretty word that sounds exotic. They really weave a lot of different textures together, including salsa, Latin jazz, blues, reggae, bossa nova, and classical styles. As engaging as the tunes and the bright productions are, those who listen closely are bound to find themselves intoxicated by the intricate weavings of the two guitars around the ever-present rhythms of percussionist Alfredo Mojica. His tribal booms and sizzling pitter-patter behind the brisk guitar lines of "Fuego Gitano" are a highlight on a disc that is uniformly engaging and brilliant.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Washington DC

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '00s

Dan Young and Lawson Rollins met in a flamenco guitar shop in Washington, D.C., in 1998 and immediately began collaborating on music that drew heavily on flamenco traditions but also salsa, blues, Latin jazz, classical, and reggae. They began playing in public just a few months later and amassed a following almost immediately. They decided to record a CD and within one week of finishing it, they attracted the attention of new flamenco label Baja/TSR Records. In the spring of 2000, they signed with...
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Mosaic, Young & Rollins
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