José Feliciano, no me neither, and so here’s a bit of background. Feliciano is Puerto Rican and was born blind as a consequence of congenital glaucoma but never the less he is regarded by some as the world’s greatest living guitarist.

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He’s been a major star in Latin America since the mid sixties and in 68 had his first chart success in the US with his interpretation of The Doors’ Light My Fire where it reached number 3. He’s had other hits in the Sates too including his version of The Star Spangled Banner and Feliz Navidad. He’s released over sixty-five albums and has forty five gold and platinum albums ad sixteen Grammy nominations. So, really we should have heard of Mr Feliciano before now and it is all credit to the brilliant él label for bringing this previously unknown to me artist to my attention.

Here we have the two albums El Fantastico and Sombras…Una Voz, Una Guitarra and musically what you are presented with is down-tempo, Latin soaked easy listening, with flamenco and boss-nova flavours. The guitar playing is tremendously accomplished and whilst this style may not be to everyone’s taste the virtuosity herein really cannot be ignored.

Feliciano is now 71 and released new material as recently as 2012.

Another great release on the él label!

Stuart Smith

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