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New World Flamenco by Tierra Negra & Muriel Anderson

New World Flamenco, the collaboration of Tierra Negra and Muriel Anderson is a bright, vivacious celebration of life through song. Tierra Negra is the German duo of Leo Henrichs and Raughi Ebert who have been on the forefront of the Flamenco Nuevo, the new wave in Flamenco music. Muriel Anderson is an award winning finger-style guitarist and harp guitar player who has achieved global notoriety. The collaboration of these two forces in contemporary guitar playing is worthy of a celebration in itself. This partnership has produced a collection of compositions that stand as a touchstone for the Flamenco Nuevo and are the foundation of "New World Flamenco".

According to the liner notes, the duo met Muriel in a castle in Germany. Before long they were jamming together and realized there was real chemistry between them. They met again when Muriel's tour schedule took her to Leo and Raughi's home city of Düsseldorf, Germany. They met later and worked on the compositions that would become "New World Flamenco".

The resulting compositions reflect the camaraderie that was formed and the beauty and peace that the Camargue region of France would afford them. The CD is also the beneficiary of some fine talent that was brought in to record the songs. This included the likes of Mark Egan on bass and Danny Gottlieb on drums, both of the original Pat Metheny Group. Other fine musicians tapped to create this CD included Victor Wooten on bass, Helmuth Fass on bass, Sabina Amadia on Palmas, and Felipe Rengifo Hernandex Jr. provided Latin percussion.

The CD is a mix of songs composed by Anderson and Tierra Negra. All these original compositions destined for this album were born of the partnership formed from almost the moment these three met. Highlights of the CD include "En El Bosque De Cristal", conceived by Henrichs in a dream in which he dreamed he was walking in a forest of crystal. Anderson's harp guitar performance brings the surreal nature of the composition to life. Gottleib's cymbal work along with Egan's signature bass stylings provide the canvas for the three guitarists to paint the scene of this forest of crystal. This is a very pretty and imaginative composition.

The skill and creativity of these three artists are present in each and every song. While not all songs are strictly in the Flamenco tradition, they all have that influence. The songs that are what I would call traditionally Flamenco styled, also have elements of folk and jazz interjected throughout. One of the most enjoyable songs on the CD is the track "Fantasia De Fuego", penned years before by Anderson. She writes, her vision included a second and possibly a third guitar. The opportunity for her vision to be realized in this union of the three was further enhanced by the strength of Wooten's bass and the dancing of Sabina Amadia. Of all the tracks this one was the epitome of the "New World Flamenco" theme of the CD.

The track "View From Space", an Anderson composition is just plain beautiful and evokes a certain floating, peaceful feeling that is welcome in any situation. I did not fully understand where this fit in, but it seemed so natural to hear these three bringing this piece to life. Like "View From Space", the closing piece, "Midnight Solo" is another one of Anderson's wonderful compositions that was a natural for this collaboration. Anderson's own work throughout CD is clearly detectable, but as in every other track, fully realizing the beauty of the composition is a function of the collaboration of the three brilliant and sensitive artists expressing a new relationship between themselves.

New World Flamenco is a guitar masterwork, the essence of what a collaboration should be, when two parts come to be greater than the whole. Tierra Negra and Muriel Anderson are natural together, filling in the missing pieces for each other, making what was credible alone, remarkable together. A truly wonderful listen from start to finish!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Tierra Negra & Muriel Anderson
  • CD Title: New World Flamenco
  • Genre: World Music
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Tierra Negra Records OHG
  • Rating: Five Stars
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