Rosy's Jazz Hall
Antonio Restucci and Emilio Garcia
January 07, 2005
BY JASON SONGE
I was startled again Thursday night at Rosy's Jazz Hall.
Louisiana native Robby Longley(see review) wowed me first with Flamenco solo guitar compositions two months ago. My jaw dropped open again as Chilean guitarists Antonio Restucci and Emilio Garcia went at it last night. Their duets were a study in technical virtuosity.
The two are some of the best guitarists in Chile(like top 5). Though Restucci grabbed the acoustic guitar for a song, he mainly stuck with a mandolin. Acoustic guitarist Garcia and Restucci blended Latin Jazz, Jazz-Rock, and Flamenco for a sweet, cross-cultural kiss.
Their turn-on-a-dime meter changes came from Jazz, while their passion, loud strumming, and logical step-by-step chord progressions mimicked Rock. Flamenco manifested itself in the feverish pace and dark tones of the songs.
I couldn't follow what Garcia and Restucci were doing when they exchanged dazzling solos during their last song(what a great way to end it!). But, most of the time, their wandering note selection was encased in a smaller part that expanded upon and then returned to a larger theme. One second Garcia played rhythm and then the next he gave his left hand a workout. The music was supported by generous amounts of pulse, but it was led by melody.
The best was when they played similar progressions. One played a little outside of the other's path of notes.
Once, they were playing at the same speed, and the only way I realized how fast they were playing was when Garcia got off track. With so many notes to deal with, getting off track was a big deal. But, what impressed me was that Garcia got back in with Restucci like it was no big deal. They were beautifully trained musicians.
I don't play mandolin, but I held one, and I could barely put a finger down on a string without hitting another one. Well, Restucci played silly fast Flamenco style on his. I hope I'm wrong, but I've got a feeling I won't see anyone else go off on a mandolin like that again. Peter Buck, eat your heart out.
Normally, there's only one or two shooshers at a concert. The shooshing spread at Rosy's until fifteen people were in on it. It would have been really funny if the shooshing got louder than the talking.
Along with the talking, an impediment to the music was the venue's poor sound. Garcia and Restucci's shining guitar tones rose above the problem.
The packed crowd showered the two with applause and shouts. They played for only 35 minutes because they were on a bill with Anders Osborne, Atman Roots, and others. No offense to the other performers, but hell, these guys were from Chile. The whole night should have been devoted to them.
A great and rare treat from Chile.
Free MP3 Downloads of Restucci's music are available at http://www.petroglyphrecords.com/html/artists/restucci/music.htm