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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

LARS BO ENSELMANN & CHRISTIAN SIEVERT

By RAFFI MENESHIAN
Published March 3, 2006

Cigars & Guitars
Olufsen

At first glance and listen, Cigars & Guitars comes across as just another “light flamenco” CD with that good ’ol’ generic feel. After a few more listens, the pure joy and giddiness that Enselmann and Sievert exude while playing Brazilian style bossa nova and samba tunes become infectious. Their mastery of the guitar combined with guest musicians from Brazil on the bass, harmonica and drums makes for a smooth mix. Think Antonio Carlos Jobim, a breezy summer day, and nice cold drinks and that’s what you get with Cigars & Guitars. The strongest tunes include the lively and light “Up To You” and the beautiful “Para Baden,” with that mournful and lush cello mixed in with the guitars. Other tracks that stand out are “Ari Olha” and “Xingu.” Both musicians avoid the trap of trying to imitate the Brazilian music tradition and instead have succeeded in creating their own sound. It’s the finesse that carries the guitar performance here on this album.