On his latest CD 'La Proxima' the American guitarist Corey Christiansen links a modern sharp sound to Cuban polyrhythmics.
By delving into various grooves and rhythms, he inevitably ended up with African roots and traditions. Hence towards Cuba is another logical step. Christiansen himself admits that he had not pretended to make an Afro-Cuban record. He just gets his inspiration from it and then does his thing with it.
He flirts openly with Latin rhythms in 'Meraki'. In 'Street Cred' he initially seems to go more on the African tour until everything escalates in a rock-tinted dynamic somewhere between Scofield and Santana. Extremely strong, certainly how guitarist and percussionist enter into dialogue. 'With You' is a yearning and especially refined ballad with an acoustic guitar. 'Ambedo' is another strong piece of Latin fusion with again a strong inventive Spiro on percussion that makes it all go down to the 'Soul Makossa' by Manu Dibango. 'My Sofia' could come from the songbook by Gilad Hekselman.
It is striking how Christiansen alternates exciting passages with unexpected side jumps in his carefully composed pieces. He owes a tribute to an almost mythical history, but juggles it spontaneously and at the same time in a controlled manner to create a personal dynamic. Not a name I was hip to (until now) but a guitarist to discover.
(Translated from Dutch)