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International Guitar Night V

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Album Review

Back in the '50s, Prestige Records was big on jazz summits. The label would bring together three or four bop musicians who played the same instrument and bill as a tenor summit, alto summit, trumpet summit, etc. But a summit doesn't have to involve a wind instrument, and it doesn't have to be jazz. "International Guitar Night," for example, is a guitar summit. Recorded during a 2004 tour of the United States, this CD spotlights four different acoustic guitarists: Pierre Bensusan (who was born in French Algeria), Brian Gore, Guinga (a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Andrew York. International Guitar Night has had other participants in the past (including Peppino d'Agostino, Ralph Towner and Mimi Fox, but whoever was on board, IGN has maintained a guitar summit concept. Stylistically, An Evening With International Guitar Night is not easy to categorize; one could describe the majority of these intimate acoustic performances as instrumental folk, but that's probably oversimplifying things. Bensusan, Gore, Guinga and York come from different backgrounds — and while instrumental folk is certainly a major part of what takes places on this CD, one also hears influences ranging from blues and jazz to classical to Brazilian music (which is Guinga's area of expertise). And at times, the disc reminds us that classical music isn't strictly a European phenomenon — there's also the classical tradition of Latin America (not only in Guinga's native Brazil, but also in the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America). However one chooses to categorize An Evening With International Guitar Night, the performances tend to favor a quiet, reflective ambiance — and that mood serves the four participants well on this enjoyable release.

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International Guitar Night V, International Guitar Night
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