While Shambhu generated a tranquil new age vibe on his debut album four years ago, this time the guitarist opts for a thicker fusion sound on his sophomore effort.
This heavier jazz-rock approach is evidenced by the greater presence of electric guitar in addition to acoustic guitar, as well as more defined melodies and chord progressions.
The sound is fuller and richer, thanks especially to an abundance of horns. Shambhu also gets solid support from a stellar lineup of musicians: George Brooks on saxophone, Eugene Friesen on cello, Premik Russell Tubbs on wind instruments, Jeff Haynes on percussion, Charlie Bisharat on violin, Frank Martin on keyboards, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, and Celso Alberti on drums.
His two releases so far show Shambhu to be a varied and diverse composer and, of course, a thoughtful, creative, and fluid guitarist.
This album will help dissolve the cares of the day with the colorful array of styles and textures. Elements of jazz fusion, Indian, contemporary instrumental and New Age spark up the tracks making sure there is something for each listener to love.
Shambhu – DREAMING OF NOW: One of the reasons I enjoy Shambhu’s guitar work so much is that there’s always something different…. something interesting… & this CD takes that a couple of steps further than the last one I reviewed from him.
As you listen to the high energy on “Starbucks Landing“, you’ll feel the groove I’m talking about – lots of movement, lots of talent in abundance!
If you prefer something a bit more laid-back, you’ll enjoy “Rendezvous“… no doubt about it; then instruments blend seamlessly all the way through this wonderful song.
My personal favorite of the 11 songs offered up was the full-bodied “Searching“…. you’ll feel like he & his crew are right there in your living room playing for you. I give Shambhu a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98. Get more information at the Shambhu website. Rotcod Zzaj
Following the acclaim of his debut album, Sacred Love, guitarist Shambhu brings his instrumental reveries to new heights of heartfelt ensemble brilliance.
With a luminous troupe of master musicians, Shambhu weaves his spirit-freeing songs into the joyous tapestry of Dreaming of Now.
The album’s co-producer, Will Ackerman, pioneering founder and guitar genius of Windham Hill Records, describes it as “bold, assured composition and performance which unquestionably establishes Shambhu as not only a principal player in the New Age world, but also as a force to be reckoned with in a far broader spectrum of musical styles and genres.”
As I approached recording Dreaming of Now, I recalled the excitement I felt performing live at East-West Bookstore in Mountain View, CA and wanted to recreate the freshness of a live performance on my next CD.
In July 2012 I booked a weekend at Fantasy Studios, Studio D, in Berkeley, CA with myself producing and Adam Muñoz as recording engineer.
Joining me were the world’s best instrumentalists: George Brooks (sax), Kai Eckhardt (bass), Frank Martin (piano) and Celso Albert (drums). We recorded 12 songs over two days and had an incredibly fun weekend together.
In the Fall I invited percussionist Jeff Haynes (who recorded on my debut CD Sacred Love), to add percussion to those 12 tracks from his own home studio in Beacon, NY. Grammy-winning recording engineer Corin Nelsen, who did the honors on Sacred Love, engineered Jeff’s sessions.
In October 2012, I took all the tracks to Imaginary Road Studio in Windham County, VT, the home of Grammy Award-winning producer Will Ackerman and recording engineer Thomas Eaton. We re-recorded all the acoustic guitars and added cello – with Will Ackerman producing. Over a week’s time, we redid guitar on 8 songs, added Eugene Friesen’s cello to 4 songs, and I also flowed three new songs (Sanctuary, Dreaming of Now and Searching) live in studio – that appear on Dreaming of Now.
By December 2012, Thomas Eaton completed the first rough mix, which was so impressive that I added Tom as co-producer along with myself and Will Ackerman.
In early 2013, I met Will Ackerman at Entourage Studios in North Hollywood, and we recorded violinist Charlie Bisharat on two songs with Will Ackerman producing.
By summer I was hearing keyboard and string pads for many of the songs. So I got together with keyboardist Frank Martin, featured throughout the CD, who graced the songs with gorgeous tones that completed them. Celso Alberti, who played drums on almost the entire CD, engineered that very fun session.
Going into summer 2013, I spent months working with the tracks in my own studio producing Jeff Oster (flugelhorn) on Devodance and adding electric guitar solo to Starbucks Landing with Todd Boston engineering. The final recording session was with Premik Russell Tubbs who added wind synth to the title track, Dreaming of Now and Jasmine.
Once we had all the tracks done, the final mix happened at Imaginary Road Studios over a week’s time working with Thomas Eaton and Will Ackerman.
This summer, Tom mastered Dreaming of Now at Thomas Eaton Recording in Newburyport, MA… and then we were done. Two years in the making, and almost three years to the day when Sacred Love was released.
Top two photos by Mario Covic. MarioCovic.com
Will Ackerman / Imaginary Road Studio – WilliamAckerman.com
As you can imagine, producing a CD like “Dreaming of Now” takes a tremendous amount of time and effort by a team of people. Dreaming of Now features the finest musical artists on their instruments and an award winning production and engineering team. I’ll talk more about these amazing folks in another post.
I want to acknowledge some very special friends each with their own special gifts – who made financial commitments that helped me kickstart this project. You are my dearest friends and I’ve thanked each of you personally. But I want to publicly acknowledge your kindness and generosity and appreciate that you are part of my story and my life.
Todd and Andrea Boston
Deborah and Jeff Dorman
Geoffrey and Sophie Menin
Christina “CK” Kerley
Lucian Kanu Balmer
Hiyamallar Daniel Shalom
Pavaka Stephane Richot