Torcuato Mariano�So Far From Home

So Far From Home is the fifth effort by Argentinian guitarist Torcuato Mariano and is quite a refreshing and crisp production. His skill on guitar is more appealing with each release. There are those signaling that this may be his best to date. That may well be true, although I still hold a certain affinity for his 2006 �Lift Me Up� release. The very pleasant hints of Brazil and Latin influences on this latest project do a remarkable job of enhancing the mood and flow of the album.

Mariano lists several artists who have influenced or caught his ear, but the artist he considers to be his primary influence is rocker Jeff Beck, whose unique style often included some really decent jazz fusion material. Apparently, Mariano listened well, as is evidenced here.

So Far From Home has some melodic moments that are both stirring and appealing. There�s �Back to the Road,� a mid-tempo �conversation� that has a lot of rock and fusion guitar bite and clarity. Adding some nice sax work by Marcelo Martins, it�s definitely one of my favorites here. The tight and funky �British Time� gets my vote, as well, for its spunkiness and brilliant instrument phrasing. The romantic and soothing piece, �Tell Me Your Dreams� is quite enough to coax those dreams out of you with ease. In addition, the coolness of some great straight-ahead tendencies blend well with smooth jazz elements on �DF,� and the exotic allure of Brazil abounds in �Ipanema Sunset.� The adept guitarist even treats the blues with his own interpretation, flavor, and soulfulness in, appropriately, �Blues Days.�

Diversity is the order of the day on this project. Obviously conceived with such eclecticism in mind, Mariano has hit his mark dead-on here.