Wed, 14 December 2011
Elevation, the latest CD from finger picking guitar whiz Lawson Rollins, is a true world music album. Playing his Spanish guitar (a custom 2006 Maldonado, in case you’re wondering), and piecing together recordings made in Iran, Nepal, California and Virginia by musicians from across the world, Rollins pieces together varying sounds and stylings that creates a wonderful whole.
Rollins has wisely assembled two experienced musician/producers to help shape his sound. Shahin Shahida adds additional guitar to the project. He also recorded Nepali musicians in Katmandu and a satur player in Iran to create the mystical sounds of “Persian Nights:” and “Voyager’s Tale”, adding vocals in Farsi to the latter. Dominic Camardella, in addition to being a veteran keyboard player (Airto and Flora Purim), has an engineering degree from MIT with a minor in music that assists him in creating sonic soundscapes on the organ, piano, and electric Wurlitzer piano.
However, it is Rollins and his guitar that stays front and center. His guitar emerges through treatments on “Himalayan Blue”, races along on the title track and sinuously slides on the classically influenced “The Diamond Path”. His sound recalls the acoustic portions of Al DiMeola’s World Sinfonia, with a dash of Andres Segovia (his first musical idol) to boot.
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT
Wed, 14 December 2011
The great Ray Charles only made one Christmas album in his lengthy career, and for some reason, The Spirt of Christmas was briefly out of print. Now available again on CD as part of Concord Records' reissue projects, it is a winner from start to finish.
The title track, with one word changed,(which I have been told plays in the film Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold is watching of his old family movies) is the featured track today, It's hard to argue with these lyrical sentiments:
I was sittin by the fire side
Personnel varies from track to track on the album, but highlighted musicians include Charles (vocals, piano, synthesizer); Marty Paich (arranger, conductor); Jeff Pevar, Kevin Turner (guitar); Rudy Johnson (tenor saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet, flugelhorn); The Raelettes, The Jack Halloran Singers (background vocals).
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT