Return to Love
Smooth Jazz guitarist originally from the Bronx, New York. Music to live, to love, to get it done, to be at peace. I started playing at the age of 16 when I got my first job a guitar and could pay for lessons. Kenny Burrel and Wes Montgomery were cats that blew me away. I was exposed to diverse influences from trad jazz to classical, pop, rock and blues and I dug it all. 'A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something seperated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in it's beauty.' Albert Einstein 'A Return to Love' a relaxing day away What a long strange trip it's been for Federico Guillermo. As a transplanted musician from the Bronx, it must have quite a culture shock from once playing Max's Kansas City to gigs at local prisons, farmer's markets and factory Christmas parties. Guillermo has been involved with almost every music scene since the mid '60s. IF YOU BUY IT ALBUM: 'A Return to Love' ARTIST: Federico Guillermo LABEL: Way Cool Meaty Boy Productions FILE WITH: Santo & Johnny, easy listening jazz for your pleasure. AVAILABILITY: Federico Guillermo, 2199 State Route 3, Cadyville, NY 12918, 293-1348, Bluerico@aol.com Soon after getting his first guitar, he made a decision. '(I) switched to bass early on so I could get into a band right away,' Guillermo said. 'My first gig was in the late '60s playing a 'beer blast' at a frat at CCNY.' At City College, he had the unique experience to sit in on workshops led by Ravi Shankar, who at the time, was on the music staff. Guillermo also played bass in the jazz band under the direction of Don Heckman, now the Los Angeles Times music critic. Guillermo played fusion in the '70s, new wave in the '80s, wrote for the pop market and played both in a big band and a heavy metal band during the '80s and '90s. Now residing in Cadyville, the surrounding Saranac River and the peace of nature seems to keep him going. Today, he runs and operates a pet-sitting service. But not even the mewling of cats and dogs could stop Guillermo from recording his first CD, 'A Return to Love.' 'A Return to Love' is about our true nature, love,' Guillermo said. He recorded most of the music in one take and all were done at his home studio in Cadyville. With 13 tracks, eight of them original, this is a relaxing and rather pleasant CD to listen to. Guillermo takes a spin on Stevie Wonder, Santo & Johnny's 'Sleepwalk', Louis Bonfa's 'Manha de Carnaval', and Freddie Hubbard's 'First Light.' Guillermo's original compositions are almost flawless, and his timing is near perfection. 'Elena,' written for his late wife, is emotional and intense. The best song on the album, without a doubt, is the explosive 'Saving Grace,' also an original. My only complaint is the artificial background music. Guillermo's programming of background beats and accompanying rhythms are masterful, but it sounds too clean. I don't know if he is using a Yamaha QY300 or something in the QY series, but nothing will ever replace a real band. Don't let this dissuade you from buying this album, though. The sound quality is superb, and Guillermo's playing is sizzling. Available at the North County Co-op, at City Market from the Saranac Co-op and directly from Guillermo himself, you might enjoy what he dubs 'beautiful, feel-good music.' Evan Lavine.