Common Ground Review: Soothe
Luxurious and gorgeous, broadly visioned, intricately sculpted, perfectly precise. Is this an art exhibit or CD review?
Shambhu is a consummate artist, at once precise, skilled, sensitive, and inventive beyond the norm. Soothe overflows with inspired compositions and exquisite performances.
Each track offers its own journey within, bringing reverence for the earth, a vast rainbow of imagery, and cosmic spaces opening inward while reaching high to the heavens.
Shambhu exploded onto the contemporary instrumental music scene in 2010 with his acclaimed release, “Sacred Love.” He followed up with “Dreaming of Now”, which earned him a ZMR Music Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. An accomplished guitarist and composer, Shambhu expresses himself through a blend of Indian and jazz styles. His music emerges in quiet introspection. His touch evokes delicate yet intricate expressions of nuance and subtlety. His performances are deeply engaging and provide audiences an experience that some have described as “magical”, “a journey”, and “opening a space within.”
Shambhu (who plays acoustic, electric guitars, six-string ukulele, e-marimba, e-sitar, e-pads) is joined on this recording by Paul McCandless, Premik Russell Tubbs, George Brooks, Michael Manring, Ravichandra Kulur, Frank Martin, Jeff Haynes, Todd Boston (who also co-produces), and for the first time, Kristin Hoffmann.
This is mostly reflective listening, varied and sometimes dazzling with sweeping melodies. There is Gershwin as a meditation and flute as an ecstasy dance. Then “Gai Sweet Divine,” co-written with ethereal singer Kristin Hoffmann, that celebrates nature. Shambhu’s music aims to respect that organic flow. All of the musicians convey a heartfelt feeling and inspire the same, forming the music inside a framework where the heart is the weaver and the soul is the guide. For Shambhu, the music of Soothe serves as a sublime expression of the Divine, next to silence.