Tommy Guerrero - Soul Food Taqueria (2xLP - Gatefold)
Soul Food Taqueria continued Guerrero's guitar soul but represented a step forward with it's polished production and greater complexity of instrumentation. Denied the promotion it deserved upon release, it flew under the radar. It is now the most wanted record of his wondrous back catalog. Guerrero's atmospheric touch and subtle guitar provide lush, glimmering pieces of musical texture. Within his spacious compositions, uniquely arranged instruments flourish alongside each other to create a languid soundtrack for halcyon days. As ever, the diversity on display is beguiling. From bossa nova, samba and cumbia rhythms to understated folk, funk and soul grooves, this is another exotic set of mellow gold; perfectly represented by ESPO's memorable artwork. Furthermore, the title's hybridity reflects the intoxicating sweep of stylistic flavors served up, reminding us that, however tricky it is to categorize Guerrero's special blend, it's always a pleasure to indulge in something so creative and adventurous. Dubby, bass-heavy instrumentals give way to moody folk-soul - witness "It Gets Heavy", featuring melancholic vocals from Gresham Taylor - whilst "Thank You MK" is a gentle ode to the tropics, featuring ethereal instrumentation, bright bass and warm, jazzy guitars. The second half in particular contains a number of stunning ambient tracks - check "Lost Unfound", "Another Brother Gone" and "Broken Blood" - built around minimalist, laid-back grooves and detailed guitar orchestrations which wouldn't be out of place on the latest Jonny Nash release. Guerrero closes this flawless set with a moment of true beauty. Restrained and graceful, "Falling Awake" is a pared back piece containing meditative guitar melodies set against melancholic piano arrangements. It brings proceedings to the most peaceful close. Seductively good, it reminds you just how great simplicity can sound.