Mesa BlueMoon 2014
Exquisite guitar hypnotism from one of Leo Kottke’s favorite composers.
Light and darkness have been part of the Sicilian six-string maestro for more than four decades now, so there’s no surprise he inhabits a shadowy world. Admired by the likes of rocker Stef Burns and classicist David Tanenbaum who he recorded albums with, still remains a musicians’ musician, but it doesn’t take a connoisseur to be enchanted with intimate magic Peppino weaves here. Once slightly layered, his licks conjure a sophisticated vision as befits the record’s title – and its title track betrays both baroque and rock strains – but for the most part the veteran adopts more ethereal approach.
Tapping into European romance tradition D’Agostino intersperses his own compositions with a lace from contemporaries Roland Dyers and Gyan Riley – accordingly, transparent “Valsa des Anges” and a delightfully intense “Irican” – to land on a somewhat chamber terrain. Yet it’s blooming with the playful folk motifs for “MB Love,” while the album is adorned with two pieces, the breezy “Peppino Sotto Portico” among them, written especially for it by Brazilian Sérgio Assad, a subject of the delicate “Sergio” whose dynamics has a gypsy ring to it. Such an ebb and flow ends the album with a bluesy “The Blue Ocean” and at this point the penumbral vision evaporates – the beauty is revealed now.