Raul Midón – Eclectic Adventurist (ENG review)

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Raul Midón - Eclectic Adventurist (ENG review)

The production of Raul Midón has delivered to us this beautiful album dating back to 2022, which features some of the world’s finest guitarists playing in duets on this very jazzy album, departing from the usual style we associate with this artist. It’s an album crafted during the pandemic and perhaps released a bit too early, which meant it didn’t receive all the attention it deserved. With numerous studio sessions featuring diverse musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Jose Feliciano, Shakira, and Snoop Dogg, singer-songwriter Raul Midón had achieved a lot. But there was still a mountain he hadn’t climbed yet: recording an instrumental album showcasing his wonderfully distinctive acoustic guitar playing.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I’ve always been on tour or distracted by other projects,” explains Midón. “When the pandemic hit, it was like, ‘Okay, now is the time to do it.’ This project gave me the excuse to really practice my guitar and focus on letting the instrument speak rather than my voice.”
This album features a host of prestigious artists: Jonathan Kreisberg, Alex Cuba, Marvin Sewell, Julia Bailen, Mike Stern, Dean Parks, Lionel Loueke, Lindsey Blair, Romero Lubambo, Stephane Wrembel, none of whom are there merely for show. We witness beautiful musical collaborations, each imposing their musical characteristics, making this project an extraordinary album. As the album’s concept began to unfold, Midón decided it would be even more fun and exciting to embark on this creative journey with some of his talented colleagues, and the goal of recording a series of duets began.
“The idea was appealing in many ways,” he says. “It gave me an excuse to reconnect with a bunch of amazing players, some of whom I hadn’t spoken to in 20 years, and it gave my compositions a direction.” It’s particularly delightful that no artist overshadows Midón, but rather provides qualitative support to each piece. The duet being a particularly delicate and challenging art form, one could say that this project is a small wonder of its kind. It’s even more enjoyable to hear what Raul Midón says about this experience. I’ll just take two examples: Mike Stern about the track “Blues for Mike”: “This composition is in a blues form, but I added some twists and turns to challenge Mike, who is one of the greatest jazz fusion players of all time. When Mike received the track, he called me and said, ‘Raul, this is really tough.’ I just laughed, because I had to tell him it took me a few weeks to learn to improvise on my own damn music!” And about the track “Loueke”: “Lionel has such a unique approach to the guitar. He grew up in Africa and was influenced by all these interesting African rhythm guitarists. He’s just beyond. He can play these unusual phrases that go beyond the measure, but at the same time, he remains totally grounded in the groove.”
So, if you missed the release of this album like I did, know that we consider it a “classic,” timeless, “essential,” because as always, the acoustic aspect of an album ensures its longevity.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, March 25th 2024


To buy this album


From 2014 to 2020, Raul Midón released 4 albums with our friends at Mack Avenue, which you can find HERE