Rodulfo, Raimundo - Sueños/Dreams

Year of Release: 2001
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: UMC001
Format: CD
Total Time: 67:35:00

Raimundo Rodulfo (photo: Anabella Delgado)I must admit that I have had this CD for review for many months now, as guitarist Raimundo Rodulfo sent this to me last March. Although based in Venezuela, there is a slight Celtic element to Rodulfo's music. Dreams is an all instrumental progressive rock album. In a rather broad way, one can say that it contains elements of Italian prog with its rich instrumentation - along side the guitar you'll hear flute, violin, viola, and sax - but also it makes me think of Yes. The thought that came to me was: if Steve Howe released an instrumental album, expanding his solos from the music of Yes into pieces themselves, this is what it would sound like. Classical structures form the lattice over which Rodulfo weaves his magic. Inevitably, Al DiMeola and John Scofield also come to mind, at least for me.

Rodulfo has assembled a number of guests to help him realize this project, a sci-fi themed concept album: Frank Alburjas on flute, Lérmit Martinez on keyboards, Jesús Pérez on drums, Alfredo Suárez on percussion, Carlos Rodriquez on bass for a couple of tracks, César Romano on violin for "Friendship," Efrain Ramirez on viola for a pair of tracks, and Édgar Rodriquez on sax for two tracks. Rodulfo can be heard on, in addition to acoustic, electric, and classical guitar, mandolin (on one track) and bass (most of the album).

"Laberinto/Labyrinth" is, as the name suggests, an intricate journey which starts off the album in whirling manner. "Amistad/Friendship" has an open style not unlike a waltz; in fact, there is so much energy here, that one thinks it must have been written to be danced to. The music is light and lyrical, uplifting and positive. "Nuevos Horizontes/New Horizons" has a southwestern/country feel to it, and due to more than just the acoustic guitar of Rodulfo. I thought of Emerson Lake and Palmer's "From The Beginning" every once in a while, due to the sound of the bass during the opening section of this 10-minute plus track (also Rodulfo). "Tormenta De Ideas/Brainstorm" made me think of latter-day Djam Karet (from Reflections From The Firepool on). Even though this track still maintains that positive, upbeat feel, there are darker tones woven in. Rodriquez joins in on sax, as this track takes a jazzy turn. "Tiempos Dificiles/Hard Times" is, as elsewhere, mostly upbeat, but at about two-thirds in, we get some moody reflection as well, providing a nice contrast.

The centerpiece to the album is the 21-plus minute suite "Códigos Universales/Universal Codes." Here some other textures come into play: atmospheric keys and voices, giving the first movement of this track, "Nova," a spacey feel (tinkling percussion only helps to enhance this feeling). Another section of this track reminds me strongly of Craig Chaquico, and not for the reason you think, though Rodulfo is playing a steel string here. Here is it more broad than that, as the same feel and mood is captured by the same instrumentation -- like Chaquico, it is a very naturalistic, outdoorsy feel. Because each section isn't a separate track, I don't know if this is "El Mono Desnudo/The Naked Monkey" or "Guerreros Incansables/Restless Warriors" (though the latter matches the essence of the piece). The remaining movements are entitled "Los Últimos Elefantes/The Last Elephants," "Tigres Ancestrales/Ancestral Tigers," "Gigantes Atomicos/Atomic Giants," and "La Aldea Global/Global Village."

There is also a multimedia component - designed by Rodulfo - that includes bios, pictures, two video segments (one a live-in-the-studio clip of "Amistad/Friendship") and the story behind the concept, written by Rodulfo. Each track is a chapter, telling the story of Crilo and Marta, illustrated by Anabella Delgado. The artwork that graces the album's cover and the interior is by Peter Rodulfo, a distant relative of Raimundo's that Raimundo came into contact with as he was searching the internet for an artist to realize his vision artistically.

All in all this is a fantastic album. Very warm in both tone and style. There is a live feel to the music, despite the fact that with Rodulfo playing multiple instruments on a single piece, it had to be multi-tracked. You'd never guess as his interplay with/between himself and others is quite organic.

Raimundo Rodulfo and band (photo: Jorge Pinzon)

Laberinto/Labyrinth (8:05) / Amistad/Friendship (5:14) / Nuevos Horizontes/New Horizons (10:20) / Tormenta De Ideas/Brainstorm (7:12) / Tiempos Dificiles/Hard Times (9:03) / Matemática & Arte/Math & Arts (6:57) / Códigos Universales/Universal Codes (21:24)

Raimundo Rodulfo - acoustic (1-3,5,7), classical (1,4,5), and electric (1,2,4,6,7) guitars, mandolin (3), bass (3-7), slide (7) and percussion (1,2,3,5,7)
Frank Alburjas - flute (1,3,5,7)
Lérmit Martinez - keyboards (1,2,4,6,7)
Jesús Pérez - drums (1-7)
Alfredo Suárez - percussion (1-3,5,7)
Carlos Rodriquez - bass (1,2)
César Romano - violin (2)
Efrain Ramirez - viola (3,5)
Édgar Rodriquez - sax (4,5)

Dreams (2001)
The Dreams Concerto (2002)
To LIVE A Dream (2003) (internet album)
To LIVE A Dream 2 (2003) (internet album)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin VE

Added: December 7th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1047
Language: english


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