Danza de Andalucia: Asgeir Aarøen-guitar & Bjarte Mo-violin

Genre:Latin Jazz/World/Contemporary instrumental

Country: Norway

For the past few days I have put this album in my player. The optimistic spirit of the music just waltzes and tangos into my subconscious. It is great when one is visited by a musical presence that this album has evoked. Danza de Andalucia is a giant whale of a musical project that’s encased in the simplicity of the arrangement.

The first few chords off the first track Summer Flirt told me right away that everything about this album is exciting, richly melodic, atmospheric and exquisitely produced. I can’t remember making mistakes with my assumptions and once again I am right with Danza de Andalucia. This Latin flavoured album is a collaboration between guitarist Asgeir Aarøen and violinist Bjarte Mo.

Fast, slow, syncopated or not everything runs smooth as any elegant Latin sound can be. Arabian Samba feels like every instrument is bouncing sound and catching them in tight hold. The violin playing is so precise it feels like a small thread passing through a pin in a lightning speed.

Your Hands in Mine tugs your heart with feeling. When you fuse Norwegian style and Latin, you always get yourself a delicious combination of sounds and styles. It has been known that Scandinavian sadness is always beautiful. This is one example of how music can move the heart with its natural way of speaking to you through sounds. Asgeir’s guitar plucking sounds like the air is making a conversation to your soul. A glorious  plea to ‘listen to your heart and the goodness of love will show itself’. I might be over dramatizing but this is what music does to me.  The pizzicato, percussion and rhythm are mesmerizing.

Night in Netanya sounds like a melody of a cha-cha I heard in childhood. It has that nostalgic appeal. Here, the music is like a coy lover beckoning you to dance the night through. Wine, roses, incense and the stars above. I would not be surprised if someone out there is waxing poetry pining at the moon with this amazing track.

Walkabout reminds me of walking on beaches. The guitar and violin duet is astounding. These guys are so fast yet so smooth.

On the Beach fills the mind with the smell of barbecue, fruit drinks, warm sand against the body and the splash of cool sea water. This track as delicious as the images it projects. Too brief though. I would have wanted this to be longer.

The title track, Andalucian Dance has a laid back and introspective introduction. It almost has that Celtic quality. Here, Bjarte’s violin drifts like thick smoke into the warm air of sunset. The track progresses into a sort of down tempo run. The violin jumps out of nowhere and you find yourself in a festive mood again.

Tango as the title suggests is fast, vigorous and exciting. All smiles.

Memories of Enerhaug is spare and rooted on nuance. This is one relaxing track to listen to when you are chilling out after a hard day’s work.

I used to listen to a lot of Andean music in the early 90’s when world music started making a global explosion. Cry of the Andes takes me back to that era. The guitar plucks remind me of driving home with windows open to let the evening breeze in. It is a type of music that sets the spirit free.

Towards Midnight emphasizes the hand claps in the middle of the track. Very atmospheric and perfect acoustic track with the Gypsy spirit.

Stroll along the River takes us into a breather. After the energetic tempo of the previous track, this one slows us down for a rest. The reflective melody takes into mind the beauty of nature. The violin cries with glee. The string parts create an atmospheric cloak. This is one track that is emotive yet bordering on the ethereal.

Summer Song is a perfect track for the season. It is like a healing water that flows from the river of melody. The vocals of Aina Schold is lush with silky edges. She sings in Norwegian which I find beautiful to hear.

Danza de Andalucia is an album that will satisfy your musical cravings for something jazzy, Latin and melodic. I think Asgeir & Mo should make a follow-up to this project. Our ears want more!

Buy this album on Amazon.

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