Nothing suits me better than a (musical) "change of pace"... though this is (U.S.-based) Peruvian guitarist Ciro's 5th solo CD, it's my first listen to his splendid solo guitar - what's most impressive about his nylon-string guitar playing is the variety of moods he plays in... his energy for communicating the joy and beauty of life through these 11 all-original tracks is inspiring and will yield many hours of repeated listens. There is nothing "rushed" about his playing, and though pieces like the opener, "Cuentos de Chacarera" are very upbeat (in a Latin-jazz way), many of the other tracks create a more pensive mood for the listener. My favorite cut on the CD is actually "Agua Dulce" (link is for a great YIDIO video of him playing this tune), which makes me see visions of dancing the night away on a terrace looking out from high mountains over tumbling springs feeding life in the valleys. I was unable to find (direct link) sample tracks, but you can get a taste for the music at Ciro's MYSPACE PAGE; you can also buy the CD from that page. What is easy to discern, whether listening to this CD or watching him play on YOUTUBE is that he's totally in communication with the muse. He's one of the best solo guitarists I've listened to in 2009 and clearly rates my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating. The CD gets an "EQ" (energy quotient) rating of 4.92. Rotcod Zzaj
-IMPROVIJAZZATION Nation - Issue # 97- December, 2009
Ciro Hurtado is an American-based Peruvian guitarist of some note, providing music for many movies and documentaries in the USA. Guitarrista is his third album of acoustic guitar pieces penned by himself. With just a solo nylon string guitar, no accompaniment, Mr. Hurtado conjures up a selection of wonderful vignettes harking back to his Peruvian homeland. What you have is a mixture of idioms: Latin American, Latin-jazz, and traditional folk. One can understand why Guitar legend Ry Cooder is a fan. Far less frenetic than the equally impressive Mexican duo of Rodrigo and Gabriela [no tributes to Led Zeppelin here], the style on this album is more reminiscent of classical guitarist John Williams, where the fingers and the guitar simply become one. The whole album just emits a gentle ambience throughout, calming and rejuvenating, so it can be listened to on many levels. It is easy to forget how beautiful the acoustic guitar sounds without all the electronic fripperies that most musicians use today - and dare one say, rely on. But I suggest you try the gorgeous Para Amanda as an example, or the opening track Cuentos de Chacarera to hear what I mean. I suppose if I was a guitarist myself I could describe in more scholarly language just how good Guitarrista is, but really all I can say is if you love acoustic guitar music then buy this album. At the very least sample any downloadable tracks from the website listed below and then buy direct or try the usual on-line sales outlets.
-The Borderline Review, December 2009
The sound of a Spanish guitar has always had something mystical and vivacious whether at a campfire, a Mexican restaurant, or on vacation. Another musician who has already launched four albums on the market is Ciro Hurtado, a Peruvian artist who now lives in the U.S. With his fifth album "Guitarrista" he has set another milestone in South American guitar music.
Whether the dreamy title "Para Amanda" and "Agua Dulce" or the more vivid "Cuentos de Chacarera", one can hear that Ciro Hurtado is a master of his trade. It wasn't nor nothing that he's shared the stage with well known musicians and composed titles for very well known movies such as "Dead Women in Lingerie" or "Monsters". Listening to his album one begins to long directly for South America and its culture. His music spans the gamut of traditional Latin-American music to fusion Latin jazz.
The precision with which he strikes the strings is true music to the ears and a delight to the listener's heart. More about Ciro Hurtado at Myspace or at his website www.cirohurtado.com
www.newageradio.com - December, 2009
For many years I have wanted to produce an album of my solo guitar compositions, a reflection of the many styles: Latin American Folk, Jazz, Flamenco, Classical, Pop, Blues and Rock, that make me the Guitarrista that I am today. Some of the pieces in this album were written a few years back and others were composed specifically for this project. Each piece has a story, a place in my life, a part of who I have become on this long journey.