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Vahe — Passion

Nov. 20, 2010


With a sweetness and defining elegance as tantalizing as the beautiful culture itself,  flamenco guitarist Vahe offers a blend of rich traditional and modern styles on his latest release, entitled Passion, with nice touches of jazz and world music adding color to the project.  A production full of bright melodies, cozy hooks, and fitting horns and strings, the album has a smooth and very effective magnetic attraction.

There is much to enjoy here.  The title and opening track gives us a marvelously seductive trumpet accompaniment (I’ve always so admired the way that instrument is used in the world of Latin music; such a majestic presence).  Track two’s “Aranjuez,” with its ethereal string arrangement and world music undertones, is tender and unassuming while being quite melodic and containing a world music undertone. Another smooth tune,  track 4’s “Quiet Tears,” incorporates a little touch of France in the mix.  “Memories” is a lively “let’s dance” meringue-like piece with lots of melody, strings, and a really nice hook.
 
“Midnight Jazz” is another number that beckons you to the dance floor with its powerful cha-cha rhythm.  Then, there are tracks like the very rhythmic and lively “Gipsy” with its powerful horn arrangement .  The jazz influence comes through nicely on “Mystic Night” while still holding that Latin flair.

The beauty of this style of music is that someone like Vahe can take it to some very exotic and very tastefully melodic places, all the while maintaining a very contagiously and exuberant rhythm–and all in  such open and embracing environments as jazz and world music.  The colors can be as vivid and vibrant as one’s imagination, and, with this project, Vahe demonstrates that he obviously paints well. — Ronald Jackson