Personnel: Carlos Barbosa-Lima (guitar); Carlos Barbosa-Lima ; Eddie Gomez (double bass); Dafnis Prieto (drums, percussion); Pepe Torres , Pepe Torres (congas); Oscar Hernandez (piano).
Recording information: Carriage House, Stamford, CT (2000-2001); PRT Studio, Puerto Nuevo, Puerto Rico (2000-2001).
Photographers: Robert Azakura; Joachim Becker.
Arrangers: Carlos Barbosa-Lima ; Leo Brouwer.
Carlos Barbosa-Lima's second outing for Zoho Music, entitled Siboney, bears the mark of a master. The playlist is primarily solo guitar adaptations of Latin American favorites such as "Guantanamera," "Drume Negrita," and the title cut, "Siboney." There are, however, a number of delightfully spirited ensemble pieces, including "Mambo No. 5," "Tico Tico," and "Cachita." Barbosa-Lima's expert ensemble consists of New York Latin jazz greats and Zoho labelmates such as drummer Dafnis Prieto, Latin piano legend Oscar Hernandez, bass player Eddie G˘mez, and conguero Pepe Torres. It is clear that the guitar hero does best when on his own, as he is often either smothered or lost in the shuffle of a larger ensemble. His solo arrangements are well thought out, sensitive, and often deliciously minimalist. The disc is sonically warm and present, especially in solo or duo format. When Barbosa-Lima is joined by more than one other musician, however, the mix becomes clumsy. Though Siboney is hit or miss, at 20 tracks there are plenty of winners to outweigh the occasional awkward moment. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez