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Here s a colorful and rather exotic venture into the land of flamenco and world guitar, something with which Nocy Karkour (just call him Nocy) is more than a little familiar, being an accomplished musician who s performed with such great talent as Rod Stewart, Jon Anderson of the rock group Yes, Kenny G, and Larry Coryell. My focus here on Rise, this best of Nocy release, was mostly on his highly charged Latin pieces, Latin music being a weakness of mine. After the opening track pays homage to Herb Albert s classic Rise, the guitarist launches into a spectacular set of lightning licks and tantalizing melodies with nicely arranged hooks that are obviously designed to excite. For those of you unfamiliar with Nocy s music, tunes like the appropriately titled Flamenco, Ya Madame, and Gimme Some Latin provide the lively and up-tempo side of the album, while the more moderately-paced You Never Left Me Alone. Rise closes with La Vida, a fiery tune that offers the same high energy with which the project began. As a whole, for those world and flamenco fans, this project is a well-conceived endeavor that should offer a bountiful dose of satisfaction.

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