On his eighth album as a leader, guitarist and composer Rez Abbasi turns to qawwali, the devotional Sufi music of his native Pakistan, for inspiration. Not that you'll hear anything here that seems to refer specifically to that music – instead, Abbasi's goal was "to capture some of the power, passion, and joy of qawwali with an instrumental jazz group, without direct imitation." The result is certainly powerful and arguably passionate, but often feels more determined than joyful.
For to Next followed Steve Hillage's last effort by a few years, and during the interim the evolving synth/new wave scene seems to have captured his imagination. For all intents and purposes a collaboration with keyboardist Miquette Giraudy, the album features relatively light and bouncy synthesizers augmented by Hillage's sometimes spacy guitar solos and sleepy vocals…
John McLaughlin Montreux Concerts Box Set contains a bounty of 17 CDs from the acclaimed jazz guitarist's all-star performances at the famous Swiss jazz festival, including performances with Carlos Santana, Paco De Lucia and his Mahavishnu Orchestra. This monumental compilation features all the artist's concerts at the Montreaux Jazz Festival spanning the years 1974 through 1999. Featuring Shakti in July 1976 & 1977 (three discs), John McLaughlin & The One Truth Band in July 1978, John McLaughlin & Chick Corea in July 1981, Mahavishnu Orchestra in July 1984 (two discs), John McLaughlin & Paco DeLucia in July 1987 (two discs), John McLaughlin & The Free Spirits in July 1993 & 1995 (three discs), John McLaughlin & The Heart Of Things in July 1998, & John McLaughlin & Remember Shakti in July 1999.
Alasdair Roberts has been paying due diligence to the folkie lifestyle for many years now, having just released his ninth full-length under his own name with little to no fanfare. The Scot is a commanding figure of the nebulous genre s realest traditions, spanning back to a style that echoes how folk standards are played, or what you might expect from the actual folk circuit. While recent Roberts works have been ominous and twilit, his new self-titled finds himself in a contented and soothed state of mind. The record is, for all intents and purposes, a solo record with a little help from his friends – whistles, clarinets and extra-special vocalists appear to wish him well, but let him do the talking, whether its with words or a knotty guitar melody.