by Michael Debbage (MainlyPiano.com)

Shambhu’s impressive 2010 debut took many by surprise however a follow up album especially after a strong debut is always a difficult position to be in. shambhu_Pilgrimage -SMALLNevertheless, Dreaming Of Now not only avoids the dreaded sophomore jinx but it will put to rest any doubt that Sacred Love was just a fleeting musical moment. In fact Dreaming Of Now not only matches Shambhu’s first offering but frankly abundantly exceeds it. But be ready to just follow the musical escapade you are about to embark on as the guitarist continues his boundless musical exploration yet creating a complete unified musical vision.

A Smorgasbord of Musical Dishes

Once again Shambhu teams up with Will Ackerman behind the production board along with several musical guests including the more obvious choices of Charlie Bisharat on violin, Eugene Friesen on cello and Jeff Oster on flugelhorn. Add in the instruments such as the saxophone, flutes and various levels of percussion and combine that with Shambhu’s tasty guitar work on both acoustic and electric and you have all the ingredients for a smorgasbord of musical dishes all for your listening consumption.

Simply Heavenly

The album opens with the optimistic “Waterfall” that cascades and flows with the joy of George Brooks’s saxophone countering with Friesen’s cello all anchored around Shambhu’s melodic guitar work. It completely sets the tone of Dreaming Of Now that is simply heavenly. Followed immediately by the more moody “Windows Of Time” that then flings you into the toe tapping breezy “Starbucks Landing” will keep you keenly aware that this artist, much like his debut, refuses to pigeon hole himself into one specific musical style. “Starbucks Landing” focuses on the electric guitar and no it is not Carlos Santana but our very own Shambhu’s letting loose.

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Dreamy Moments

Dreaming Of Now is not without its dreamy moments that can be best found on the title track with Premik Russell Tubbs’ flute work floating effortlessly with Shambhu’s softly shaded acoustic work. This less complicated composition is utterly mesmerizing. The lighter musical hues can also be found on “Country Aire”, “Devodance” or even better yet the naked and stark yet gorgeous closer “Sanctuary” where Shambhu shows us he is capable of doing a superfine William Ackerman like performance but in his own musical tongue.

You Will Like from Start to Finish

Shambhu lost his element of surprise after his strong debut, however this does not take away from the absolute beauty found onDreaming Of Now. With absolutely no filler, Shambhu’s follow up effort shows an artist that has not only blossomed but has also formally announced himself as a ready for prime time musician. The only question is in which genre? It does not matter as Shambhu takes elements of World, Smooth Jazz, New Age and Meditative qualities to create a musical experience that you will like from start to finish making it one of 2013’s finest releases.

Reprinted from Pilgrimage Yoga Online

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Shambhu and Frank Martin

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.

George Brooks

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 recorded 12 songs at Fantasy Studios over a weekend, and 8 of them made it onto Dreaming of Now.
We recorded 12 songs at Fantasy Studios over a weekend, and 8 of them made it onto Dreaming of Now.
Devodance has an element of nature right from the off that tugs us right into a whole new world of majestic playing and musical attractiveness. The early natural sounds are well used, I think I even heard a rain stick, but the song picks up from its early gentle start and flourishes with some excellent bass from Kai Eckhardt and some utterly delicious Flugle Horn from the one and only Jeff Oster, this was one of my favourite tracks off the album.
So the stage is set and upon it under a single light, sits Shambhu, he picks up his guitar and gazes around the lime lit room, slowly he plays a sombre but perfectly played piece called Searching. There is a certain melodic majesty about this piece, in some small way it reminded me of an acoustic set I had heard some years ago from David Coverdale of Whitesnake and I had to hold back my eagerness to sing Sailing ships to this piece. A delightful track and a fine example of what a superb guitarist Shambhu actually is.
Kai Eckhardt (bass)

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.

Celso Alberti

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)

Here’s the tracking list of musicians featured on Shambhu’s Dreaming of Now.

Shambhu at Fantasy Studios – where the rhythm tracks for Dreaming of Now were recorded over a two-day period.

Waterfall

Adam Muñoz and Shambhu at Fantasy Studios

Shambhu – acoustic guitar

George Brooks – soprano saxophone

Eugene Friesen – cello

Frank Martin – piano

Kai Eckhardt – bass

Celso Alberti –  percussion

 

Windows of Time

Shambhu – acoustic guitar

George Brooks – soprano saxophone

Charlie Bisharat – violin

Frank Martin – piano

Kai Eckhardt – bass

Celso Alberti –  drums

Jeff Haynes – percussion

 

Charlie Bisharat

Starbucks Landing

Shambhu – acoustic and electric guitars

George Brooks – soprano saxophone

Frank Martin – piano

Kai Eckhardt – bass

Celso Alberti –  drums

Jeff Haynes – percussion

 

Dreaming of Now

Shambhu – acoustic guitar

Premik Russell Tubbs – wind synth, flute

 

Kai Eckhardt

 

Rendezvous

Shambhu – acoustic guitar

George Brooks – soprano saxophone

Eugene Friesen – cello

Frank Martin – piano

Kai Eckhardt – bass

Celso Alberti –  drums

Jeff Haynes – percussion

 

 

 

Country Aire

George Brooks

Shambhu – acoustic guitar

Charlie Bisharat – violin

George Brooks – soprano saxophone

Frank Martin – piano

Kai Eckhardt – bass

Celso Alberti –  drums

Jeff Haynes – percussion

 

Devodance

Shambhu – acoustic guitar

Jeff Oster – flugelhorn

Eugene Friesen – cello

Frank Martin – piano

Frank Martin

Kai Eckhardt – bass

Celso Alberti –  drums

Jeff Haynes – percussion

 

Searching

Shambhu – acoustic guitars

 

Tropical Afternoon

Shambhu – acoustic guitar

George Brooks – soprano saxophone

Eugene Friesen – cello

Frank Martin – piano

Kai Eckhardt – bass

Celso Alberti –  drums

Celso Alberti

Jeff Haynes – percussion

 

Jasmine

Shambhu – acoustic guitar

George Brooks – soprano saxophone

Charlie Bisharat – violin

Frank Martin – piano

Kai Eckhardt – bass

Celso Alberti –  drums

Jeff Haynes – percussion

 

 

 

 

 

Producer Will Ackerman, Shambhu and Charlie Bisharat

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sanctuary

Shambhu – acoustic guitar

 

Thomas Eaton, co-producer and recording, mixing and mastering engineer.

Producers: Shambhu, Will Ackerman and Thomas Eaton.

Recording and mix engineer – Thomas Eaton

Mastered by Thomas Eaton

All songs composed and arranged by Shambhu. Copyright 2013 by Shambhu Neil Vineberg.  Published by Sacred Love Music (BMI)

 

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.