He’s a serious contender for Calmest Record of 2008. Jazz guitarist Sebastian Albu spent a month bumming around Vietnam and Thailand with a cheap guitar and a notepad. No point in taking the ’59 Les Paul because it rains over there all the time and things get broken so easily. The music on this disc is an amalgam of experimental and light jazz, and while there are no fireworks, there’s plenty of composing genius and solid musicianship. All the songs have a unique style. Some have Pink Floyd-like whispers (“The Wind Blows Through A Broken Oak”); others feel like incidental music in an Italian art film (“Frick Park At Midnight”) or a country fiddle (“My Muse”). All have evocative and poetic titles like “Summer Silhouette in the Rain” or “Pueblo Por La Noche.” Albu explores some sound textures outside of the normal canon of Jazz instruments. Lurking behind the guitar are soundscapes straight from Arthur Lyman’s exotica of bird calls, rain sticks, and rice rolled on a drum head. Albu captures the essence of jazz improv without sacrificing the territory of listenability to unlistenable hipness.
Sebastian Albu: www.sebastianalbu.com