#141 - May/June 2009

Gadfly 516

Duet collaborations are nothing new for acoustic guitarists, but Beppe Gambetta's latest contribution to the genre, Rendez-vous, is distinguished by the breadth of material covered and by the eclectic selection of performers he chose to work with. Once known primarly as a bluegrass player, Gambetta's facility with European vocal and instrumental styles is demonstrated on pieces such as the percussive "Sinan Capudān Pasciā", which he performs with French mandolin player Patrick Vaillant, and "Dio č morto", which features a passionate vocal performance by legendary Italian singer/songwriter Francesco Guccini. Gambetta's duets with American singer/songwriters are equally moving, including a Celtic-tinged version of "Battle of Waterloo" with Patty Larkin and a lush, romantic rendition of "Madame Guitar" that features Darrell Scott on electric guitar and vocals. Several Gambetta instrumentals highlight his ability to showcase the strenghts of his collaborators, whether it be Missy Raines' fluid bass work on "Hobo's crossing" or Marco Fadda's crisp percussion on "Light in Torraca". (MP)