Friday, September 10, 2021

Aural Awakenings: Episode 48

A refreshing 2-hour blend of new age, world & contemporary instrumental music! (Photo credit: Tim Kuret Photography.)

0:00:00 / Shunia / Har Har Mukanday / Ascend
0:05:30 / Kelly Andrew / Humanity / Revelation
0:09:58 / Wouter Kellerman & David Arkenstone / A New World / Pangaea
0:14:07 / Peter Sterling / Beauty Abounds / The Winding Way
0:17:58 / Jill Haley / Vista at Valles Caldera / The Canyons and Mesas of Bandelier
0:23:32 / Carl Weingarten / What the Raindrop Saw / Ember Days
0:29:03 / Stephen Edwards / Midnight Fear “Jen’s Theme” / Piano Music from Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen
0:32:03 / Michael Whalen / Lights of Home / Future Shock
0:37:09 / AO Music / Little Watchers / Kutumba
0:47:33 / 2002 / Rainbow Cove / Hummingbird
0:47:05 / Bill Leslie / Golden Eagle / Celtic Peace
0:50:30 / Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy / Mosaic 1 / Ravenna
0:57:22 / Rick Sparks / Bella / Bella
1:01:29 / Darlene Koldenhoven / Delphi’s Dream / The Grand Piano Spa
1:05:36 / Album Spotlight: Heart Awakening by Shambhu
1:06:43 / Shambhu / Infinite Eyes / Heart Awakening
1:11:05 / Johannes Linstead / In the Stillness of Love / Bohemian Strings
1:15:15 / Mediaeval Baebes / Domine Lesu / Prayers of the Rosary
1:18:44 / Kristen Miller / Meeting God in Heavy Boots / Cello Journeys
1:22:08 / Josefine & Trine Opsahl / Picking Flowers / The Infinite Between Us
1:26:45 / Deuter / Evening Gratitude / Song of the Last Tree
1:34:27 / Dallas David Ochoa / Cliff House / If These Walls
1:37:34 / Ciro Hurtado / Camino / Luna
1:41:36 / Ann Sweeten / Turning the Page / Change is the Wind
1:45:50 / Holland Phillips / Lights Off / Eleven After Midnight
1:48:55 / Lia Scallon / Tibetan Skygods / Return of the Star Elders

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Album Review: Heart Awakening by Shambhu

Review by Abdul Yamani 

Acclaimed jazz guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer Shambhu (pronounced 'SHOHM-boo') has an impressive background in diverse styles and genres, and an extensive list of big-name collaborations. He worked with Grammy winning record producer Will Ackerman on his 2010 debut album, Sacred Love, which topped New Age music charts, and has recorded with the likes of Carlos Santana, Jeff Oster, Whitney Houston, Paul McCandless, Michael Manring, Frank Martin, Premik Russell Tubbs, and Todd Boston, just to name a few.

Shambhu’s 5th album Heart Awakening (Soothing Guitar for a Peaceful World) released on his birthday anniversary, May 31st, 2021, in the New Age, Jazz and Contemporary Instrumental genres once again demonstrates his high level of skill, precision, smoothness and mastery of the guitar. The album’s easy flow comes from his desire as he puts it “to uplift, center, and ground” the listener with music which conveys a peace much needed in these uncertain times. With a unique and powerful method of combining music and the meditation practice, Shambhu mindfully allows his intuition to guide his musical creations. In past interviews Shambhu has shared that he visualizes beautiful places which he’s visited that have inspired him. He explains that when he closes his eyes, he tries to feel the essence of the spirit allowing it to flow through him so that he can pass that feeling on to his listeners and they too can visualize what those places felt like for him.

The title track opens the album with Shambhu’s tranquil acoustic guitar illuminating our way to a serene place within. Refreshingly rustic, I felt the calmness of the piece speaks to the listening heart encouraging the soul to awaken to new possibilities.

The second track “Infinite Eyes” features talented musicians Geoffrey Menin on piano, and Matteo Palmer on electric guitar with Shambhu playing both acoustic and electric guitars, bass, and e-sitar. It’s a vibrant musical symphony with variations of audible and visual interest which seem to effectively harmonize the mind, body, and spirit.

“Preparing for flight” takes on a jazzier style and tempo encouraging movement, playfulness, and soulful adventure. This piece features a variety of fun instruments such as marimba, flute, alto sax, teamed up with piano, guitars, drums, and percussion.

“Little B’s Poem” with its capturing piano-led melody complemented with Shambhu’s electric guitar and bass in a lovely sequence has a jazz flair that I really like.

Sax and acoustic guitar are paired exquisitely on the album’s last track, “Song for You”. Tubbs’ saxophone shines on this cheery duet for guitar and sax, a special gift to every listener in a gesture of friendship. This ingenious album provides an uplifting listening experience lighting a path to renewed hope and joy.

~Abdul Yamani for Aural Awakenings 

For more information, please visit Shambhu's website. Heart Awakening is also available at Amazon, Apple Music and more.