This album is a tribute to Peru, specifically the Altiplano region in the Andes, one of the largest high-plateaus on earth. In spite of the difficulties, the Altiplano has been inhabited for thousands of years. Hurtado’s special fusion of Peruvian native sounds and world fusion is featured on the songs here.

Hurtado’s exquisite performances on acoustic guitar anchor the music presented here. He is joined by a number of other musicians, including a female vocalist (Spanish), quena flute, organ, cello, bass and percussion. The songs are lovely ensemble pieces. Track One: Macchu Picchu was inspired by that famous Incan citadel. Track 3: Rumba Andina blends a Spanish rumba cajon with an Andean huayno party rhythm and mountain folk singing by Hurtado’s wife Cindy Harding. The lyrics use a hummingbird as a metaphor for a lover leaving.

Track 4: Cuidad Del Lago was written by Jorge Huirse and features the guitar styling from the Ayachucho region. The integration of Peruvian folk music makes this world-music fusion different from other Latin-styled fusion productions. The rhythms and melodies have a unique quality. The balance of each song’s ensemble performers keeps the sounds fresh from track to track.

Hurtado’s albums feature high production and recording quality. “Altiplano” is no exception, and is of particular interest because of its Peruvian flavor, which listeners will find quite piquant and lilting.

Review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Ciro Hurtado
2019, Inti Productions
10 tracks, 44 minutes
CD $21.95, MP3 $9.49