alfonso lovo - la gigantona

Alfonso Lovo: La Gigantona (1976)

And so we come to the first album I own but have never listened to.  La Gigantona, an obscure album from Nicaraguan guitarist Alfonso Lovo was a blind buy, part of a binge of records from the Numero Group when they had a killer $5 sale on compact discs.  And I’m happy to report that the compilation is fantastic, offering a wide range of tracks from solo classical tracks to straight up funk explorations and extended latin jazz jams that cross the universe and back again.  All that plus a fat booklet of liner notes that flesh out the extraordinary life of Lovo and the music contained on the disc. Continue reading “Alfonso Lovo: La Gigantona (1976)”

al di meola, john mclaughlin and paco de lucia - friday night in san francisco

Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin & Paco De Lucia: Friday Night in San Francisco (1981)

Oh man…almost 30 years since first hearing this and it sounds just as fresh, just as vibrant, just as alive as the first time I heard it.  Friday Night in San Francisco is more than just a live document of three guitar virtuosos at the top of their game; it’s a seminal work of music, astounding in its passion, technicality, and execution, and a high water mark for Al Di Meola, John McLaughin, and Paco De Lucia.  It’s bar none one of my favorite records of all time, and remains for me the apex of what you can do with a guitar, unadorned, armed with only your love of making music. Continue reading “Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin & Paco De Lucia: Friday Night in San Francisco (1981)”

Adrian Legg: High Strung Tall Tales (1994)

I had the great benefit and privilege to be surrounded by a lot of diverse music growing up.  In high school my two closest friends were a pair of brothers who grew up playing classical piano and jazz guitar.  But their hearts were always also in rock and roll, and it was there I developed the bug for guitar after listening to everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Yngwie J. Malmsteen to Jim Hall, Andre Segovia, and Adrian Legg, whose High Strung Tall Tales provides possibly the best overall document to introduce someone to one of the greatest guitar players I’ve ever heard. Continue reading “Adrian Legg: High Strung Tall Tales (1994)”