Spanish flamenco jazz always gets a real lift when veteran guitarist Nocy sets out to produce a new project. His last release, Rise, was truly a testament to his marvelous and sensuous kill at crafting authentic and exotic melodies reminiscent of other lands and islands. His latest, Simplicity, is another stop along this enjoyable journey around the world as he explores not only the attraction of flamenco but the romanticism of Brazilian and salsa music and the beautiful mystique of Japan, In addition to tossing in his own version of reggae, new age, and even country.
This album is dedicated to a big influence and inspiration in the guitarist’s life, his dad, who departed this life last year. The tracks reflect the closeness as you can sense the emotion in each piece which played with definite purpose.
Another one who’s great with a melody, and some will argue that it’s hard not to make good of a Spanish-influenced melody (to which I would beg to strongly differ), Nocy turns simply pieces into great exotic moments. There is one track on which I might differ with him with respect to how he classifies it. His beautiful “Forever Dad,” an obvious tribute to the man he cherished, is indeed soulful but hardly “hip hop,” as he tends to see it. At any rate, whatever you may want to call it, it affects and impacts.
Others of note here—and there are many—include track two’s nice reggae-laced “No Way,” which has some really tight vocals by Felice Hernandez, the riveting “Watashimo (Me Too”), a Japanese-flavored, wonderfully alluring piece with Spanish undertones sung by one Yuka Nakano , the totally moving, rhythmic “Sambaramba,” and “Echa Pa’lante,” among others. Personally, the house music remix of “No Way,” which serves as the finale, could have been omitted, in my opinion. Aside from that, this CD is most appealing.
Nocy’s tradition of fine, Spanish jazz and quality world sounds is in no way in jeopardy as long as he continues producing such material as Simplicity, which stands up proudly with its competition. – Ronald Jackson
Note: At the time of this posting, no Amazon MP3 sampler was available. However, the CD can be sampled at CDbaby. When the Amazon sampler is available, we will post it here.