Strunz & Farah – Primal Magic (1990)

FrontCover1.jpgStrunz & Farah is a guitar duo with an eclectic sound that has been described as a cross between world fusion and flamenco.

Jorge Strunz, born in Costa Rica, and Ardeshir Farah, hailing from Iran, met in the United States in 1979. Jorge Strunz was one of the founders of the Latin jazz band Caldera. Caldera combined jazz, funk and rock with a wide variety of Latin music, influenced by 1970s fusion explorers like Return to Forever and Weather Report. The four albums Caldera released (none of which have been reissued on CD) did not sell, and the band called it quits in 1979.

Having both played guitar professionally since their early teens, Strunz and Iranian guitarist Ardeshir Farah soon teamed up and released their self-produced first album, “Mosaico”, in 1980, which started their own label, Selva Records. They soon caught the attention of Richard Bock, an important figure in jazz radio, who helped the duo land a contract with the jazz label Milestone.

Strunz & Farah have since released nineteen recordings together, several albums as a duo and collaborating with Rubén Blades (“Joseph and His Brothers” BMG, 1993) and with L. Subramaniam on two tracks (“Confluence” and “Shadow of Heaven”) on their debut recording, “Mosaico”.

The duo also worked with Sting on the album The Living Sea: Soundtrack from the IMAX Film as session musicians.

Their latest album, “Tales of Two Guitars”, was released in July 20, 2018. (by wikipedia)


Ottmar Liebert seemed to have the 1990 flamenco guitar market cornered, but a great promotional push helped L.A. club vets into the limelight with this tasty and contagious collection of jungle-fusion gems. What makes S&F work so well is the rapport their guitars have. Like Acoustic Alchemy with more ethnic elements, their nylon string flamenco stylings blend in a breezy yet melodic manner, accented with just the right amount of Rippington-esque percussion (by Long John Oliva and Luis Perez Ixoneztli) and touches of Charlie Bisharat’s violin on smoothies like “Twilight at the Zuq” and “Anochecer.” Heightening the excitement is the world music element — Strunz is from Costa Rica, Farah is from Iran, and their guest musicians hail from such eclectic lands as Colombia, Mexico, Cameroon, Cuba, and the U.S. This potpourri of influences makes Strunz & Farah’s sound one of the freshest in world music, even if the similar tempos of several of the tunes makes them hard to tell apart at times. Primal Magic creates this and much, much more. It’s a fun, involving listen, something to add to your “something unique” drawer. (by Jonathan Widran)


Charlie Bisharat Guest (synthesizer, violin)
Ardeshir Farah (guitar, percussion)
Leon Granados Engineer, Mixing
Guillermo Guzman (bass)
Joe Heredia (drums)
Luis Perez Ixoneztli (percussion, synthesizer, vocals, wind instruments)
Juanito Oliva (percussion, cajon)
Jorge Strunz (guitar, percussion)
Paul Tchounga (drums)
Katia Esperanza Tirado (percussion)


01. Bola (Strunz) 5.08
02. Twilight At The Zuq (Farah) 4.50
03. Ida y Vuelta (Strunz) 4.07
04. Rainmaker (Farah/Ixoneztli) 6.11
05. Huixamatli (Luna Llena) (Ixoneztli) 2.24
06. Canto Al Sol (Ixoneztli/Strunz) 5.10
07. Anochecer (Nightfall) (Strunz) 3.53
08. Tierra Verde (Strunz) 4.35
09. Zumba (Strunz) 3.46
10. Amazonas (Strunz) 6.42