Only in his late 30s, guitarist Ottmar Liebert is too young to be a musical child of the 1960s.
Only in his late 30s, guitarist Ottmar Liebert is too young to be a musical child of the 1960s. But songs from that era form the spine of Little Wing, with Liebert avoiding stock "nouveau flamencoizations." Instead, he takes a sidelong look at some classics. Jimi Hendrix's evergreen power ballad is given a laconic, country-and-western reading replete with slide Dobro. Liebert stays a bit too close to the theme of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black," but he opens up in a raga-like solo backed by tablas and timbales on the bridge. Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" seems to hover between its original dark mystery and the breezy heat of a Spanish café. These cover versions snake through Liebert's original compositions, including the affecting "Like Water 4 the Desert" and "Angel: Omnia Bona Bonis." Liebert does flirt with easy-listening moods, especially on Stan Getz's "Girl From Ipanema," but he usually pulls it back to the more compelling ambiences that have served his music for the past decade.—JD