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Bolo Sete
Live At Grace Cathedral

Review By Steven Stone
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CD Number: Samba Moon Records 020401 

 

  No solo guitarist had more passion than the late Bolo Sete, who passed away in 1987. His widow, Anne Sete, created Samba Moon Records to preserve and perpetuate his music. On Samba Moon Records' latest release, Live at Grace Cathedral, you can experience Bolo Sete's consummate creative fire in an intimate live concert environment.

Recorded on May 21, 1976, in San Francisco, this release includes ten compositions and runs almost 55 minutes in length. Five original Bolo Sete works join pieces by Badden Powell, Joao Pernambuco, Dorival Caymmi, and a traditional Brazilian folksong. From the very first tune, "Jongo," the mesmerizing quality of Bolo Sete's fingerstyle mastery can't help but leave you amazed. A generation of fingerstyle players, such as Michael Hedges, drew inspiration from Bolo Sete's rustic yet rhythmically sophisticated style.

Given the age of the recording, the sonic quality on this disc ranks as remarkably fine.  Although no recording engineer credits are supplied, mastering engineer Howard Johnston, assisted by Matt Silveira, with digital enhancements by Martin Taylor, have created a convincing recreation of the live concert event. Subtle dynamics along with Bolo Sete's unique rhythmic pacing come through with superb clarity and articulation.

Although he is often called the father of New Age Music, this disc amply reveals that Bolo Sete's music was far more intricate and rhythmically innovative than any "new age music" that followed. Live at Grace Cathedral offers a compelling picture of a modern guitar master at the height of his powers.

 

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