Ottmar Liebert: The Scent of Light
2008. The guitarist — an itinerant mariachi with international connections — sits in the cell of an abandoned state prison near Santa Fe, bare feet in the rubbish left behind by the riot in 1980 which killed 33 inmates. It’s a contradictory image, where the filtered stagelight of the artist’s performance milieu has been supplanted by reality, the indifferent light of history. A place of confinement now becomes a sanctuary, a spiritual kiva defined by the unpolluted light of the unseen desert. A concert for ghosts becomes a ritual purification. But what is this xeric staging? The Scent of Light, Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra: the best album by the band since their seminal 1990 platinum release Nouveau Flamenco? Or could it possibly be better?