Written on: 19/11/2010 by eugena (23 reviews written)
Luna Blanca has now released their fourth album in the ten years they have been together. They are modern-flamenco group from Germany that has been getting good reviews and airplay worldwide. Their latest CD is Provence, titled after a region of France, with the song titles reflecting the food, wine, weather, places and people you find there.
The core of the group is the founder and lead acoustic guitarist Richard Hecks and the pianist/keyboardist Helmut Graebe. They are augmented by a variety of guest musicians. The sound features Hecks soloing on every tune, but all the way through each composition. Almost every piece also includes a variety of propulsive percussion. The sound varies from track-to-track, not only depending on whether the piano is featured, but also when other instruments and sounds are heard such as organ ("Mistral"), accordion ("Camargue" and "Rose"), wood flute ("Driving"), strings ("Creme Brulee"), Latin horns ("Cafe"), violin ("Camargue"), acoustic rhythm guitars and bass ("Francoise"), and background vocals (everything is instrumental except the secondary singing on "Cote d'Azur" and the gentle "Sunset" plus some shouting on "Cafe"). Although the pianist does some short solos, he also plays some very rhythmic piano chording on "Siesta," ""Cafe" (in the middle section) and "La Maison Bleue," and Uwe Gronau does the same on accordion on "Camargue," all of which works well with the flamenco rhythms and percussion.
On their first two albums, Luna Blanca did not write much, but with their last recording, Guitar Island, they penned nearly all of the material and showed they have a way with melodies. They continue this trend on the all-original Provence. Luna Blanca is a very talented group with their composing, performing and arranging. This music is fun because of the rhythmic qualities, but also pleasurable because of the main melodies and solos. Sit back, relax and let the passionate and emotional sounds of Luna Blanca transport you on a musical mini-vacation. Enjoy the trip!