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Carlos Niño and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson 

Fill the Heart Shaped Cup

Musician and producer Carlos Niño hails from Los Angeles' fertile alternative scene, which often treats hip-hop and soul as a new form of free jazz. His projects (Hu Vibrational, the Life Force Trio, Ammoncontact and Build an Ark) escape easy genre classification. Fill the Heart Shaped Cup, made with composer Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, celebrates Valentine's Day; the CD booklet even includes Niño's love poetry. The music itself is warm, electronic and ambient, but also far-reaching and epic in the vein of Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain. "The Tides" alternates between harp and keyboard; "Extended Hands of Giving" layers cello and congas underneath those same eerie keyboard sounds. Fill the Heart Shaped Cup lasts 10 tracks and 28 minutes, long enough for Niño and Atwood-Ferguson to deliver their short, sweet message of love, and disappear. 4 stars

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