Hurtado is a Peruvian who relocated to the United States. His guitar-playing rooted in Latin styles that reflect his Peruvian roots, and blends blues, jazz, rock, and world-music influences.

Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic vine used by indigenous natives as a medicine and for ritual visions. Hurtado’s musical career was inspired by his ayahuasca vision. The album reflects the creativity and inspiration he received during that adventure. Hurtado is the featured soloist, but on the whole, the album is an ensemble effort that includes several singers, musicians and various instruments. The album is mostly instrumental, with a few vocal tracks.

The opening song, Track 1: Peru, cuts loose with a full blast of Latino-style band-playing that gets the album off to an exciting start. The quena Peruvian flute and zamponas (pan-pipes) add an exotic touch. Track 2: Andean Blues is a low-key, relaxed guitar serenade. Track 3: Flor de Aleli is CD’s longest track (7:06 min). It begins with the theme stated by the guitar. A sung lyric rambles through a story told by the soloist and a back-up choir. Track 4: Bolero de mi Barrio is a gently rhythmic, hypnotic, sensuous slow-dance number.

The album includes some musicians and instruments from India on Track 5: Dulce and Track 3: Flor de Aleli. Tracks 10 and 11, Too Your, Too Soon and Physician Poet include collaborative poetry as lyrics and top jazz keyboardist Rique Pantoja. Singing is in Spanish and English, and includes several different vocalists that include Cindy Harding (Hurtado’s wife). Track 6: Feliz is a more up-tempo, bouncy dance number that includes organ and (what sounds like) steel drums.

Overall, this is a fun album with a richly-updated Afro-Cubano/world music sound. Different tracks evoke a range of sentiments and emotions. Hurtado’s guitar-playing is skillful and well-balanced with other instruments in ensemble numbers. Recommended for listeners who enjoy Latino-style music with a sophisticated blend of world music influences.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Ciro Hurtado
Hurtado, 2014
CD $15.00, download $9.99
available at CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes
www.cirohurtado.com

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