Although this album was released in 1997 I felt it important to inform the masses about and hopefully you will take the time to learn more about Jorge Strunz (Costa Rica) and Ardeshir Farah (Iran); two exceptional musicians in the world today.
As a college student in Boston in the mid-90’s it was not uncommon for me to begin my afternoon studying to background music. At the time Emerson College had a fantastic radio show called Jazz Oasis that was a 2-hour program immediately following a World music show called something I cannot recall, but it was a great prelude to the jazz show. One day whilst listening and working on a paper I remember that I stopped writing to listen more closely to what was playing. After the song was over I was introduced to Strunz and Farah; I recall that the song was off their (at the time) newly released Live album and it was a must to run out and get (I just was so eager to hear more!). After that one song and numerous albums afterwards…I am still hooked.
Musicians like The Gypsy Kings and Ottmar Liebert are household names in guitar,Flemenco, and world music circles but sadly not for Strunz and Farah; however, they should be. The Live album was the first album I ever bought and it remains among one of the most cherished, prized, and continuously played in my collection. I’ve turned more friends on them by just randomly putting them on; most say “Jesus, who is that?” and I politely reply “oh, it’s just Strunz and Farah, I’m sure you’ve heard of them”, usually the reply is no, but “can you burn that for me?”.
As live albums go, this is the probably the most precise, entertaining, and well-rounded album I have ever heard. There are zero dull spots in this album and often the listener has to wonder if these guys are really that good live. The album is so well recorded and produced, you have to think there is some studio magic in there, I mean, can these guys really play that fast and clean? The answser is yes! I’ve seen them do it.
Strunz and Farah have recently wrapped up a U.S. tour and already have a date set for June 11, 2010 at the One World Theatre in Austin, TX; if you live in the Austin area do yourself a favor and grab a seat. I would suggest that if you are a fan of Al Dimeola, Strunz and Farah are among the same caliber of talent. Granted that DiMeola might be a bit more well-rounded since he plays all different types of guitar styles, Strunz and Farah offer their own corner on the guitar market and will not dissapoint even the most critical of guitar fans.
I saw these guys in 2002 at The Regatta Bar in Boston and it was a show I will never forget. Check them out and a sample of their music (and latest album Fantaseo) by clicking here.
Tell us what you think!