Anne L Ryan reports on Eduardo Niebla, Cambridge Modern Jazz Club, April 2006

Artist Visiting Cambridgeshire

You could feel the magic in Kettles Yard - as you might expect of a seventh son of a seventh son. Eduardo Niebla, Andalusian gypsy guitarist and composer, native of Tangier, graced the club with a performance of outstanding panache and innovation. He may be a flamboyant player, like many finger-stylists. The difference with Niebla is the breathtaking combination of originality in tone, technique and composition.

He set the standard for the evening with Phoenix, composed on the theme of the way humans surpass difficulties. More pensive pieces like Adagio and Para James, written for his son, were balanced by the strong rhythms of Ballet and I Can Fly Now, which did indeed fly.

Much credit must go to the skills of his accompanists. As he told me after the show, ‘When the musicians speak your language, it's not difficult to achieve real precision and accuracy - and to have a lot of fun.'

Niebla is a self-taught musician, given great help from his parents. Under their watchful discipline, he spent endless childhood hours working with metronome, listening to all kinds of music, honing his technique - to the point witnessed at Kettles Yard, delivering a magical and original performance of spellbinding clarity and feeling. It was, simply, stunning.


Writer: Anne L Ryan