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Other Words

Duo LaRé is comprised of mandolin virtuoso Chris Acquavella and rising star guitarist Nate Jarrell, ably assisted on several tracks by additional musicians Erdis Maxhelaku on cello, Harley Magsino on double bass, and Steve Haney on percussion.

Recorded at San Diego's Studio West, the album's sound quality is superb.

Acquavella is really something else. He is proving once and for all that the mandolin is the equal of any member of the string-instrument family. He might be the Joshua Bell of the mandolin. Jarrell has already made a solid impression with his release The Next Chapter, here, he mostly concentrates on the acoustic. Whatever he's playing, Jarrell has got it all, chops, ideas and a distinctive, personal sound.

The album opens with an Acquavella original, "Mtarija." Over the single-note bowing of cellist Maxhelaku, the mandolin and guitar lay down intricate unison lines in a Middle Eastern vein, then they jump to counter-point over world-music percussion. Acquavella takes an astonishing solo, full of lightening fast strikes and violin like glissandi, egging on an equally strong response from the guitarist.

The title track, In Other Words, is a pensive and probing ballad that capitalizes on piquant mandolin harmonics. There is terrific sense of balance between the two instruments, and the players often seem to finish each other sentences. Jarrell squeezes in a potent nylon string solo that brought Pat Metheny to mind.

The whole group reinvents the Miles Davis–Bill Evans classic "Nardis" with sections of odd-time metrics and almost tango like rhythms — which may have been overstepping a bit, the melody to "Nardis" is exotic enough on it's own — still, there's a nice flow to this arrangement.

"Imardin" is Acquavella's solo tour-de-force, loaded with stair-stepping harmonic movement, layered with a haunting melody on top.

The show-stopper for me, though, is Jarrell's wonderful solo reading (on electric this time), of the gorgeous Metheny ballad, "Always & Forever." Using chord melody as a device to move through and outline the theme, the guitarist manages to put his own stamp on the tune — a very difficult task to accomplish on a piece by a guy with as singular a voice as Metheny's music represents. "Always & Forever" ebbs and flows and streams in different contours from the original, maintaining listener interest for its entire length. Took my breath away. This is a sublime duet recording.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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