Nattassa Mare, Jason Carter - The Embrace

Published Saturday 4th April 2009
Nattassa Mare, Jason Carter - The Embrace
Nattassa Mare, Jason Carter - The Embrace

STYLE: World
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 50724-14825
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Paul Poulton

For art work we have naked bodies in various states of embrace telling graphically what is happening aurally on this singular album where flamenco/classical guitarist Jason Carter teams up with Greek neoclassical singer Natassa Mare for a meeting of musical minds. The skin-on-skin feel of the booklet seems to let us know that bodies were made for embracing, they fit together so well. It's a mirror image of the aromatic nylon strung music and lingering voice of two people who fit so well together musically, it's joy and peace to listen to. The mournful descending chords and smartly executed arpeggios of the British guitarist are inspired and quite moving. In "Guten Morgen Mein Angel" (which doesn't take much working out what the title means, the credits for the album are written in Greek, but I fancy it's German for "Good Morning My Angel", and if angels do listen to music then this is the sort they would listen to) the sweetness of the morning calls to me through music that is both aching with weight and airy with its lightness. There doesn't seem to be much Jason can't do with a classical guitar, it envelopes the listeners and transports them to another plane. If you ever wondered what the Sirens sounded like when they sang to Ulysses then Natassa's haunting voice may be somewhere near it. Sometimes when the word "classical" is mentioned many popular music lovers switch off, but it would be wrong to write this off as a strict measure by measure classical performance. There are overtones of jazz, world, flamenco, sitar, Greek and even the simplicity of children's nursery rhymes with hints of a number of other styles besides. Some light percussion helps things along without being intrusive. The only nuisance on this remarkable album is the opening track which is spoken in a scary whisper not unlike the haunted house programmes on TV where people try to scare the viewers by whispering loudly as if something was going to happen. None of the songs are sung in English but it matters not a jot.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Derek Walker in Abongdon @ 23:00 on Jan 4 2009

This work is an exhilerating, atmospheric treasure. Mare's Greek, French and German vocals add an exotic edge. For soundalikes - there is nothing, but imagine a fusion of Steve Hackett, Note fora Child, Kate Bush and the vocals on Gorecki's 3rd Symphony. Carter's work is fluid and eloquent. Great stuff.

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