Russ Hewitt | Alma Vieja

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United States - Texas

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Latin: Rhumba Jazz: Smooth Jazz Moods: Instrumental
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Alma Vieja

by Russ Hewitt

Redefining Nuevo Flamenco and Latin Jazz with a unique mixture of World beats.
Genre: Latin: Rhumba
Release Date: 

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  song title
artist name
1. Pelourinho Russ Hewitt
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4:15 album only
2. Samba Samba Russ Hewitt
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3:48 album only
3. Pacific Sunrise Russ Hewitt featuring Michael Lington
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4:00 album only
4. Dhanyavad Russ Hewitt
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4:30 album only
5. Gabriela mi Corazon Russ Hewitt
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5:28 album only
6. Miss Mimi Russ Hewitt
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4:34 album only
7. Moonlake Drive Russ Hewitt
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4:21 album only
8. Las Cruces Russ Hewitt
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4:09 album only
9. Gypsy Russ Hewitt
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4:12 album only
10. Tango for Ahn Russ Hewitt
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5:06 album only
11. Soldade Russ Hewitt
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4:40 album only
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to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
Russ Hewitt’s debut, "Bajo el Sol," was one of my favorite albums of 2009, so I’ve been eagerly anticipating his follow-up. I’m very happy to say that his "Alma Vieja" does not disappoint! Quite the contrary! Backed by a group of stellar musicians, Hewitt returns with a dazzling collection of eleven original compositions in what he refers to as a Latin/World style that incorporates rhythms and influences Hewitt assimilated while traveling extensively to other parts of the world and sitting in with musicians of varying cultures and musical backgrounds. His own background includes a degree in classical guitar performance and years of playing with rock bands. Add some strong jazz influences, and you have an idea of the versatility of this artist. His backing musicians, who have plenty of room to shine on this album, include Alfredo Caceres on rhythm and harmony guitar, Walfredo Reyes Jr. on drums, Rafael Padilla on percussion, Bob Parr on bass, Michael Lington on sax, Charlie Bisharat on violin, and Ivan Torres on drums.

"Alma Vieja" begins with “Pelourinho,” a bright and sparkling piece with infectious rhythms and very impressive guitar licks. “¡Samba Samba!” playfully continues with a relaxed, swaying energy. “Pacific Sunrise” should become a smooth jazz favorite with its easy flow, great sax work, and feeling of warm contentment. “Gabriela Mi Corazon” is a sweetly passionate love song in a slow, sensual tempo. “Miss Mimi” is light and breezy and sounds like fun to play. The improv near the end is especially note-worthy - smokin’! I love “Moonlake Drive,” one of the slower pieces that again has a relaxed energy that inspires toe-tapping and swaying to the beat. Hewitt dazzles with his flawless lightning-fast runs. “Las Cruces” slows it down to an elegant slow dance tempo that is graceful and soulful. “Gypsy” is free-spirited and joyful. The slow, smoldering “Tango for Ahn” has a gorgeous guitar melody and brilliant solos. Love it! “Soldade” closes out the set with a lovely ballad that touches the heart and leaves the listener ready to hit the “repeat” button to play the album again!

Bravo to Russ Hewitt for his second guitar masterpiece! Very highly recommended!

Serge Kozlovsky

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky /
In the guise of fatal century
A pattern of golden hopes

The flowing melodies of the album “Journey Around the Sun” stirs the soul from the very first moments. They are so strong and powerful that you can easily start the exciting journey towards the unknown lands and distant times.

The conception of the album is inspired by Bill Wren’s deep interest in ancient Mayan civilization and, in particular, their 2012 prophecy. As a result we can enjoy his new joint work with Frank Ralls which exceeds the separate genre boundaries and can be named a real new age multicultural project. The music of the album is enriched with influences from Spanish, Mediterranean, Eastern European gypsy and other ethnic traditions.

Many outstanding guest artists took part in the recording of “Journey Around the Sun” and their masterful performing makes its sounding so natural and refreshing like a pouring Summer rain drops in the sparkling rays of the warm Sun. And the vocals of Michelle Amato add an incredible charm to the whole project.

In general all compositions of the album are united into a single whole and it is impossible to stop listening to it. And all of them are perfectly arranged. The three quarters of an hour runs absolutely imperceptible.

The album “Journey Around the Sun” is one of the most impressive releases in the genres of new age and contemporary instrumental music which I had a chance to hear recently. I am sure it will be among the most memorable albums of this year.

I can characterize the new project of Bill Wren and Frank Ralls as music which brings hope.

Serge Kozlovsky

Serge Kozlovsky

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky /
What is the music of Russ Hewitt like? It is undoubtedly a sparkling flamenco. His melodies are gourmet food for any guitar music lover. The tunes of Russ are played with virtuosity on the highest level. His music is full of improvisation and at the same time the accuracy inherent in classical school is felt in the artist’s compositions.

All these words are true but they can’t fully describe guitar playing of Russ Hewitt. There is something wild, something vivid in his performing which puts this young artist in a row with most outstanding flamenco masters of the present. There is easiness and clarity in his guitar playing. These qualities are really precious!

And if we add here a slight touch of jazz the picture will be more comprehensive. I meant the composition "Pacific Sunrise". This is a hit on the album “Alma Vieja”. But the other compositions are just as good. In general the second release of Russ Hewitt is rich with bright tunes. I cannot but mention the moving “Samba Samba!” here.

Listen to “Alma Vieja” and simply enjoy the new project of the brilliant guitar player Russ Hewitt and his skillful accompanying band.

Serge Kozlovsky