Title - 'AEAEA'
Artist - Stephen Duros
I have to fully admit that I personally thought that Stephen Duro's incredible album Thira was his best work to date. Well, of course, it was at the time, but the guitar virtuoso and composer supreme has gone and trumped it with his highly anticipated concept album, entitled AEAEA.
Where Thira dances its way through some masterful flamenco work, blending such tones seamlessly with Mediterranean Eastern percussion work, AEAEA incorporates the rhythmic sounds of an man expressing fully his own unique compositional skills and approach to the genre.
If you were not aware, Stephen Duros performed with Ottmar Liebert from 2006-2009 and his playing featured on Liebert's Grammy nominated album, The scent of Light. Lest we forget the work he also did on his own solo albums before, during and after that time period, of course.
The concept behind AEAEA, one that is broken down into 12 "chapters", is to recount a musical journey or odyssey. Ergo, this incredible new album tells a story, much like a book does, but instead of songs, those aforementioned 12 "chapters" are filled with twist and turns in the place of traditional songs.
All brought to life by Duros' very own seasoned-developed style of guitar work, AEAEA allows him to coax out of his nylon string acoustic guitar sounds that may well be originally rooted in the traditional cultures of flamenco, and yet also include Blues with a hint of Asia and the Middle East.
Just to make this new album even more impressive, on AEAEA Duros plays the flamenco, electric and bass guitars, once again the oud (which he used beautifully on the aforementioned Thira), keyboards, percussion, palmas and drum programming! He left the charango to Andrew Reissiger and also, kindly, allowed him to co-produce the record.
Indeed, getting deeper, as all those involved need a shout out here, Louis Romanos played the drums and percussion, Gary Moser played the riq and darbuka, Jeff Pierre played a conga solo and the album also features a special guest electric guitar solo by Nouveau Flamenco pioneer, the man himself, Ottmar Liebert!
Simply put, if you are looking for a little sophistication in your guitar work albums, here it is on AEAEA. I really appreciate Stephen Duros' style of playing and I hope you will to.