Ascentor Review – Dreaming of Now – Shambhu

Shambhu belongs to the generation of artists influenced by Will Ackerman’s label Windham Hill and his work as a producer, a big part of which contributed to global popularity of the New Age music genre. These artists created their own unique sounding interpretations, which differed greatly from the mystical orientation and relaxation background relaxation backgrounds of New Age.

Ackerman and his friends created a so called “American New Age” (I would even say “secular”), removing discrediting religious motives and electronics, building on live performance, and including all genres close and distant with a single goal: so that listeners would feel good and comfortable. This genre attracted real professionals with successful careers who filled charts and playlists with quality instrumental music independent of established beliefs and unbound by common practices, however not denying interest in them.

Shambhu never made it to Windham Hill, though that can be explained by his creative endeavors. As a virtuoso guitarist he worked with Whitney Houston and Santana, but his soul wanted something more. In 2010 this something became his debut album, which immediately made it to #1, won several prizes in the genre, and was loved by it’s listeners being named one of the best releases of the year.

The first album has now been replaced by a new one. Here Shambhu filled the gap by getting Ackerman to join in the role of producer and invited to the studio an unbelievable number of stars, beginning with Jeff Oster (horn), George Brooks (sax) and ending with Charlie Bisharat (violin), Frank Martin (piano) and Eugene Friesen (cello).

It worked out as a “dream team” ensemble and they have recorded one of the best albums of the year. Yes, without running ahead and hastening lines of the review, I will say exactly that. “Dreaming of Now” is an example of flawless work of the producers and studio engineer creating a feeling that these players are playing live around you, right inside your home. This creates a miraculous and welcoming atmosphere.

But above all, “Dreaming of Now” is impressive, soulful music, presenting itself an elegant and actual fusion of light jazz, blues chord, classical influences, pop and rock variations, and also typical American country, helping one imagine never ending sun-filled space symbolizing real freedom. One could also imagine or even make real a romantic date, sunset at the sea, sunrise in the mountains, and being present in a cozy sanctuary.

In a word, during the feelings of calm and relaxation this album will bring you, imagine anything you like; this album – filled with light, love and warmth of heartfelt feelings – will help you. The absolutely unparalleled pieces are “Rendezvous”, “Country Aire”, “Windows of Time,” and” Jasmine”.  Other songs are of the same quality.

In the process of creating the “second album,” Shambhu has excelled, composing and recording with a great company of friends emotional and impeccably beautiful compositions, telling simple but wise and kind stories using the universal language of music, and it feels simply very good for one’s soul.

Thanks to Albert Nazander for the Russian-English translation.  Visit Ascentor Blog for the Russian language post.