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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Antonio Restucci

By Jeff Tamarkin
Published April 3, 2007



Listening to this undeniably pleasant, unbearably tedious flamenco-esque faux-jazz fuzak, one can’t help but think what a misuse of talent it all is. Antonio Restucci is a veteran, award-winning Chilean classical guitarist and mandolinist whose virtuosity goes unquestioned. On Cristol, he surrounds himself with equally dexterous musicians, only to place them into inconsequential, edge-free settings that do nothing to showcase their abilities or his. What’s bewildering is that Restucci has worked with the fiery, progressive nuevo-flamenco group Ojos De Brujo, a band that would never make music as lackluster as this. To be fair, there are occasional moments with spark: the sensual “Gypsy Sunrise,” with its flashy flourishes and rhythmic shape-shifting, is inspired, and “Jambull” gives the players room to strut. But too often these pieces, despite their bold attempts at cultural confluence, are stillborn and whitewashed. Pretty but deliberately bland, they hint at possibilities never consummated. A shame, really.