David William Ross, though considered a classical and jazz guitarist, consistently transcends both genres. He works extensively in collaboration with other accomplished artists, while also being a composer with an impressive library of works that accompany dance and performance art. Ross brings this multifaceted background to the fore in Ravello Records’ AMOR FATI.
Ross opens AMOR FATI with a warm, calming, and familiar folk lullaby: Akira Nakada’s A Song of Early Spring, arranged by Toru Takemitsu. Following is an interpretation of Astor Piazzolla’s Las Estaciones Porteñas (The Four Seasons), a quintet arranged for guitar by Sergio Assad. Beginning with an enigmatic intro, Ross walks listeners through this four-movement story to its peaceful, happy ending. Takemitsu is the composer of the following piece, Equinox, which opens immediately on a dissonant chord, paving the way for a Latin work with a more experimental scaffold.
Next is New Hampshire composer Frank Wallace’s Cyrcles in six movements. The first is entirely ethereal but followed by a fast-moving arpeggiated and percussive territorial second movement and a harp-like third movement. The final movement is a collection of echoes and minor seconds. It is hurried and entirely purposeful. The culminating piece is Leo Brouwer’s Un Dia de Noviembre. In Ross’ own words: “Whenever I play this piece, I find the haunting, repeating melody truly evokes the sense of introspection one finds in November, before the winter sets in and all is asleep and at peace.”
This album feels very familiar, yet is refreshing to hear. Ross’ guitar is one with a rich, buttery timbre surely to ease any listener’s mind. With its expressive, modernist elements, AMOR FATI is an all-around pleasure to listen to.