CD reviews

CD Worldbeat

„Die 70 Minuten dieser intensiven mitreißenden Mixtur in unglaublich guter Klangqualität bergen eine Masse an Ideen und Feuer- der Hörer fühlt sich zunächst fast erschlagen. Und legt die CD vollkommen begeistert gleich noch einmal auf.“
(Akustik Gitarre)

„Viel Virtuosität in rasanten Gitarrenläufen und Pianisten wie Chris Jarrett garantieren eine effektvolle Melange aus spieltechnischer Raffinesse und musikalischen Multikulturen. Insgesamt ein furioser Trip mit schwierigen Rhythmen in die Leichtigkeit des Seins.“
(Thüringer Allgemeine)

„Der äußerst umtriebige Gitarrist kreiert mit illustrer Besetzung in zumeist eigenen Kompositionen einen äußerst lebendigen, mitreißenden Weltbeat.“

„Siedhoffs Handschrift bleibt präzise und deutlich, Poesie regiert mit feinem Anschlag und findet manch erfrischenden Ausweg aus der üblichen gehobenen zeitgenössischen Akkordverbinderei. Trotzdem dräut kein unaufgeräumtes Multikulti- Happening: hier nämlich wurde erst nachgedacht und dann losgespielt. Eintracht in jeder Hinsicht, kein Patchwork aus halbverdauten Eindrücken, keine musikalische Postkartenidylle. Sondern ein überraschend intelligentes und subtiles Spiel ohne Grenzen.“
(Akustik Gitarre)

„Erfrischend ist die Virtuosität, die Lust am Zusammenspiel der Musiker und die Energie geladene Atmosphäre des Albums. Trotz der scheinbar chaotischen Grundstimmung wirkt sich das Gitarrenspiel Siedhoffs wie eine Verbindung zwischen den einzelnen Stücken aus. Ein Versuch, die unterschiedlichsten Kulturen dieser Welt mittels musikalischer Kompositionen zu verbinden. Unsymmetrisch, exotisch, groovig- ein kleines instrumentales Meisterwerk.
(takt; Mai 2003- Thüringer CD des Monats)

CD Crossing Roots

“…ein geglücktes Meeting von Musikkulturen und Menschen, die sich beim Einspielen hörbar wohlgefühlt haben. Crossing Roots hat Spirit und ist Lichtjahre vom üblichen Weltgeplänkel entfernt.“
( as, Journal Frankfurt )

„...Man liest im Booklet, man wolle dem Flamenco bis zu seinen indischen Wurzeln nachspüren - ein ganz schöner Anspruch. Aber man kann es drehen und wenden: Das Duo von Ralf Siedhoff, Konzertgitarre, 12string, und Manuel Delgado, Flamencogitarre, bekommt das hin: Der Pilgergang nach Indien ist dank einer erstklassigen, nein: exzellenten Crew zum heiß ersehnten, wirklich offenen Dialog der Kulturen und der Zeiten geworden. ....In der Not nackter, purer Begeisterung der gezielte Griff in die journalistische Klischeekiste: Diese CD ist ein absolutes Muss.“
( JAZZPODIUM/Akustik Gitarre)

CD Azucena SCALA

A flamenco and a classical guitar meet here for a splendid session. Although, according to the statements of the musicians of "The Guitar Duo", spanish, asian and jazz elements run together the iberian colour is predominantly. Faultless, elegant technique make a positive general impression sure, even if the ten songs on "Azucena" are not really different from each other. Manuel Delgados and Ralf Siedhoffs songs are in any case more original and more creative than, for example, the ones of Ottmar Liebert, with his overproducted "New Flamenco Esoteric".Wolf-Christian FinkMusic: good Sound: very good

concert reviews

"Sin Distancia" is not only the name of the musician trio to Manuel Delgado, Ernesto Martinez and Ralf Siedhoff. The name is also synonymous with the "Bilderhaus Gschwend". Artists and audiences come there especially close, even "without distance".

Just connect the trio rhythmic dances and the sounds of Latin music together. Here, too, determines the acoustic perception programmatic area.

Guitarist Ralf Siedhoff and Manuel Delgado on the flamenco guitar mediated images in house by carefree game of Mediterranean flair with touches of jazz and flamenco. Whose emotional passion and temperament brought the percussion rhythms Ernesto Martinez powerfully expressed. The fiery rumba "Bellamar" or the sparkling pearly "Buleria del Deseo" testified of sparkling passion of continuous melodies whose accented game met an enthusiastic audience.

The audience experienced again and again, as the musicians - almost in a trance - brought in economical accompaniments in the interaction to be in the next moment held by a driving percussion on topic.

Most concert posts were original compositions that come from the current CD production of Sin Distancia trio "Soleado". The Indian soundscapes in "Behind the Mirror" kept the audience wonder about the origins of the Spanish gypsy music. An unusual feeling of hearing Manuel Delgado’s daughter Carmen added with her tango bandoneon-heavy game in the multi-faceted tunes consequences. With the flattering harmonies determining the rhythm percussion nearly got into the background.

Ernesto Martinez brought himself with a superb solo performance on his percussion instruments at the concert audience in mind. He created the sound itself rubbing palms together to rhythmic style element, as chants of "La-La-La" or "Takataka". Without hesitation the audience followed the "exercises". Again to the quartet had grown ensemble sprayed finish with "Negrita" unleashing dynamics and adopted almost dreamy with a wistful melody.

Guitar Duo – Spanish heat in the early autumn of Leipzig Delgado and Siedhoff delighted their audience in the jampacked MB

There couldn’t have been more heat in Tunisia where Manuel Delgado first met Ralf Siedhoff. This could have been the thought of some people while they were listening to the strains of the Guitar Duo in the grand event room of the MB. The spotlights contributed to this impression while Delgado invoked the shimmering heat of Spain. The highly concentrated faces of the guitar players showed that there is an enormous effort behind the melodies which flow wonderful lightly along. Both of the musicians gave the time once more once less intensive with the foot. But with more passionate songs they acted with the whole body. You saw and felt their enthusiasm for the music and the joy for their own pieces. They are actually a little bit proud of their new CD „Azucena", which one Siedhoff quite often pointed out to the audience with a wink. The disc is warmly recommended but it doesn’t reach the atmosphere of the live concerts of the duo. Delgado acts the proud Spaniard at the guitar and Siedhoff wins the audience quickly by his nonchalant manner. The harmony in the team wasn’t only heard but seen. During the play they give each other looks over and over again, they smile and peruse attentive the soloparts of the other one. The looks of the listeners were sticking to the artists with the same kind of tension. The duo develops a strong presence on stage which is therefore only barely equipped. Beside the instruments and loudspeakers there was only a flag of the Raï-Haus which was the organiser of the concert. After more than one and a half hours and two encores which were knocked out by the stormy applause of the enthusiastic audience the guitar duo dismissed his listeners into the autumn Leipzig. But still after a while you had the feeling of just coming out of the sun.(Andrea Burkhardt)

Fast Fingers

Bergisch Gladbach: The duo formation of Manuel Delgado from Barcelona and Ralf Siedhoff from Weimar is simply called "The Guitar Duo". They met first in Tunis, talk in English and include folkloric elements from India, Spain and god knows from where else – who would say that this is not international enough. A considerable audience gathered in the stage area of the "Löwe" in order to listen to the original compositions of the two musicians. The Spaniard played predominantly the flamenco guitar and the German the "ordinary" classical guitar and the tinny 12 string guitar. Both have fast fingers and to top it all a remarkable culture of sound. It was played without big talks: alternating compositions of both of them, always from memory, always virtually perfect. It was stylistically a multicultural cuddle mix for feeling good and relaxing – sometimes a bit of jazz, sometimes a bit of Indian sitar music but also pure-bred flamenco. The changes of the different instruments and styles brought variety into the soundmix. Without them it would be on a long term basis more suitable as background music. An evening for the musical relaxation followed by strong applause. (D.M.)

A trip into new sound spheres
Jazz, flamenco and more with "The Guitar Duo" in the "Neuen Palais" of Bamberg

The flamenco guitarist Manuel Delgado from Barcelona and the jazz guitarist Ralf Siedhoff from Weimar met first in August 1997. What started with an international meeting of musicians in Tunis and a concert in the Amphitheatre of Carthago became within one year "The Guitar Duo" whose first CD was recently completed. For one week they are now on tour in Germany and within this tour they guested in Bamberg last Thursday in the "Neuen Palais". So for the opening of the season there was a dialog in guitar-language between the north and the south of Europe. Rather in various guitar-languages because the different musical roots of the two musicians are also the main topic of their co-operation. With their own compositions they are searching for a way without musical borders. Certainly the flamenco and Iberian stylistic elements are dominating even if some African, Indian or Middle Eastern sounds smuggle into the songs now and then and Siedhoff does not deny his jazz origin. Already with his first piece "Aquellos Gitanos" Manuel Delgado swings himself up to flamenco flights to which however Siedhoff knew how to add a few jazz elements. The result therefore was very distant from every folkloric banging melodics which are sold to every holiday-maker in Andalusia in the dives of Malaga as the real flamenco. Delgado brought the warm spain with his Solo Buleria (one variante of Andalusian folk music) to the autumn Germany. With "Dorsaf", which is dedicated to a female Tunisian singer, Delgado and Siedhoff reminded of the World-Music-Festival in Tunis that brought them together and whose musical elements, which were assembled there, formed their style. The Siedhoff composition "Waiting for a friend" shows the attachment to the free-jazz as well as to the Indian Raga music. And there are far more possibilities. Siedhoff underlined this later with pieces like "Song for the Raï-House" - his musical home in Leipzig - or "Kleines Lied" where the play with jazz and folk elements was mixed with free improvisation. But the two guitarists do not play themselves or their styles in any way against each other. The harmony was perfect and if one of them performed a furious solo the other one formed the suitable background. On their trips into new sound spheres they drive each other forward. Perfectly tuned caesuras, abrupt changes in time, breathtaking fast successions of chords - the general impression of the evening was a strong dynamically push forward - a musical vortex. And with the partly maddening tempo of the pieces both of them showed commanding knowledge of guitar-playing. That also includes stroking, tapping, striking or sweeping, which allowed the two musicians to elicit additional nuances from their acoustic guitars. So there was not only technically brilliant resonance but also very intensive expression. Even though the words are borrowed from another genre of music it shall be allowed to say that the concert of the Guitar-Duo had "groove and soul".