I wish to thank Shambhu for bringing a little sunshine into my life on this miserable wet and windy day in October; while all around radiates a healthy does of glumness, Shambhu’s brand new album permeates a radiance so powerful it lightens the very soul.
Perfection in track one on the composition Waterfall, the acoustic style really captures the title so well with the trickledown effect of the guitar, this is a very professional piece to start with and paints a perfect picture of what we are to expect from the rest of the album. The Cello of Eugene Friesen is sublime in this composition; Waterfall for me, was a great piece to start a new album with, a perfect representation of what you will come to know as the Dreaming Of Now experience. The gentle refrains of Windows of Time struck me as a piece that will live long and prosper in the realms of the new age music fan and if this album is what the so called New Age music genre is becoming then I say hallelujah.
Just listen to the Sax of George Brooks, add the Violin of Charlie Bisharat and you will see what I mean, a true classic of a composition. Total change for track three, much more world genre related, far more upbeat and up-tempo in its style and in parts reminded me of the work of my favourite world band Incendio. This track indeed had fire and passion; even though the title was somewhat curious in Starbucks Landingit still worked for me and was a timely tempo change for the project. Some very, on the ball, piano by Frank Martin and at times one could almost feel that Shambhu had a little Santana thing going on there, which of course isn’t surprising given his musical history. So dear constant reader, it’s time for the title track Dreaming Of Now and one of the most beautiful guitar based pieces I have heard for many a year. Shambhu is joined by Premik Russell Tubbs on Wind Synth and Flute and the combination of them both gives us the listener the perfect example of exquisiteness in music, one could easily imagine listening to this piece whilst lying on your back on a summer’s day in the forest watching the clouds drift by.
We move to Rendezvous, a melody filled sandwich of musical delights that will ease your mind and feed that harmonious hole in your tuneful heart. This has just about everything as a track, a little Jazz influence and the delicate and respectful percussion played by Celso Alberti was brilliant, the piano of Frank Martin which accompanied Shambhu’s guitar was stunning, this will be one of those compositions that would sell an album off its own back, it is that good and everyone who performed on it, should now take a bow.
The quietness that Country Aire gives off as a musical offering is much needed for me now, I watch the rain fall out of my window, but this interlude of harmonious beauty gives me a feeling that all is as it should be. Shambhu’s guitar playing here really comes into its own, this track almost tells a story and through the strings one can hear the words that paint a picture of a perfect repose into the calming influence of our countryside.
We are heading to the end of the album my dear readers, but before we even get anywhere near, let me tell you about this delightful offering that sees some wonderful Cello again from Friesen. Some creative guitar from Shambhu delivers us a piece called Tropical Afternoon. Having spent many of these moments myself, I can tell you that this fits perfectly, a must mention here, there is some very excellent Bass played on this track by Eckhardt and this whole composition fulfils its promise ten fold. Jasminehas an almost Celtic feel about it at times, proving this release is a real genre crossing album, some very powerful percussion from Jeff Haynes is easily matched by Alberti’s enthusiasm on drums. This is a piece that really lets go and enjoys the atmosphere that these amazingly talented musicians have thus far created.
So it’s time to tell you about the very last track on the album constant reader, it’s the shortest piece at just over two and a half minutes and rightfully so, the sole property of the master Shambhu. Here is once more a splendid guitar based track, to ease you towards the end of the experience that we can now call Dreaming of Now. This album has been a delight to review, an album that is beautifully and masterfully produced by Will Ackerman. Dreaming of Now is a much needed multi-genre guitar based album that the musical world can feel eternally grateful for, its shows us that out there in this vast world of musical banality there is still a real heart beating, there are still real musicians that care and that guitarists like Shambhu can bring you the constant listener, an album that will restore your faith in all that is good in the contemporary instrumentalist genre.
~By Steve Sheppard, OneWorldMusic.com (United Kingdom)