Consumer Guide Album
Carlos Paredes: Guitarra Portugesa [Elektra/Nonesuch, 1990]
When an alien style hits you where you live, learning to say hello is easy. When it doesn't, some genius has to make the introductions--like this third-generation master of a guitar that looks like an oversized mandolin and sounds like a small orchestra. At the most obvious level Paredes's florid runs and melancholy melodies are generically Iberian, but listen deeper and the romanticism of these 20-year-old sessions turns defiantly modern and irreducibly local. Popular classicism, ancient to the future.