ALBUM TITLE: Local Objects
WORKS: Works by Duplessy, Gismonti, Domeniconi, Cardoso, Meola, Ali-Zadeh, Garôto and Pinter
PERFORMER: Zsófia Boros (guitar)
CATALOGUE NO: 479 1607
Carlo Domeniconi’s dazzling, improvisatory suite Koyunbaba dates from only 1985. So it’s younger than Hungarian Zsófia Boros herself, but has become a guitar standard, superbly recorded by John Williams (Sony), Milo Karadaglic´ (DG), and plenty more. The Turkish title usually translates as ‘shepherd’, but it’s about mysticism, not sheep.
Boros’s intimate, whispering yet crisp tone is here given big plummy bass and reflective acoustic. This Koyunbaba (on D, not C sharp) sacrifices the odd ornate detail in the opening melody but has momentum and depth in the faster sections. Gismonti’s Celebração de Núpcias is quiet magic, and Cardoso’s languorous, lovely Milonga is another highlight. Frangiz Ali-Zadeh’s atmospheric Fantasie provides an Azerbaijan-flavoured, strumming-rich complement to the Domeniconi.
To some, Koyunbaba is over-recorded, a repertorial Japanese knotweed. But if you like its exotic soundworld of melancholy and tumult, with its bespoke tuning evoking the resonant depths of Turkish plucked folk instruments, you’ll love this vividly-coloured collection of lesser-known pieces in a similar spirit. Notwithstanding the ECM quirks (only 41 minutes long, no booklet notes bar a Wallace Stevens poem) this is a very likeable CD, perfect to accompany a ruminative late night. Rob Ainsley