ZMR/New Age CD Review: Heart Awakening (Shambhu)
“Heart Awakening’ is effortless peace. This is as calming, soothing, and as authentic as it gets. It’s a quintessential piece of art for the healing of the heart.”
It’s the third time this week I’ve heard music for and about awakening hearts. I think we need to pay attention. So, let’s do that.
Have you got 23 minutes? I know you do. The brilliant new EP, “Heart Awakening” by the legendary New Age jazz guitarist, Shambhu (Neil Vineberg), will bring you into a state of ultra-peace in that very short time span.
Here, in these 5 peaceful tracks – a soothing synthesis between jazz and New Age contemporary instrumental – Shambhu is joined by Premik Russell Tubbs performing his musical magic on soprano saxophone, Celso Alberti on drums and percussion, as well as Todd Boston on percussion. But wait, there’s more. A college friend, Geoffrey Menin, performs on piano, as well as Frank Martin on piano. Matteo Palmer performs here on electric guitar. Shambhu performs throughout this sweet EP on acoustic and electric guitars, e-bass, e-marimba, and e-horn.
The album opens with the title track. Great choice. This is 5-1/2 minutes of blissful relaxation with zero pretentiousness or affectation. Just great music. This is gently reflective and hopeful, with Shambhu’s guitar speaking in such a beautifully heartfelt manner.
Following is an upbeat, dreamy conversation between guitar and piano that is gorgeous in every way, “Infinite Eyes.” This song, with its Indian inspired melody, was released as a single on May 20, 2021.
Perfectly placed on the album is, “Preparing for Flight.” This is a laid-back and fun union between jazz, Brazilian, and very cool New Age groove. Flutes, horns, marimba, percussion, guitar, are all spectacular and flowing. The flute performance by Premik Russell Tubbs is particularly enchanting. All works together so fluently here.
“Little B’s Poem” is a cover of a song written by Bobby Hutcherson for his son, Barry, who was 3 years old at the time it was written in the 1960s. For those that do not know, Bobby was a well-known jazz vibraphone and marimba player. Shambhu has done a marvelous arrangement here and Frank Martin on piano is outstanding as well.
This brief EP closes out with “Song for You.” Warm and magical, the song reflects the light of a long friendship between Premik Russell Tubbs and Shambhu. We can feel it. I think no one plays the soprano sax quite like Premik and I also think probably no one plays the guitar quite like Shambhu. These – and every single note on this EP – speak directly to the spirit in a completely effortless manner. Masterful. Memorable. And full of soul.
And, just so you know, there is no point in getting just a song or two from this EP. Do yourself a favor and get the whole thing. It’s one unit. . .a cohesive piece of quintessential art for the heart.
Here, in “Heart Awakening,” which speaks softly and powerfully to our collective heart, we are reminded of why real musicians make music. It’s a reflection of the love in their own hearts beaming out to all. It is soothing balm pouring out onto the world like healing honey. Aaah. . .the utter joy of music. This is it.
Listen / get it here: https://www.shambhumusic.com/ and/or your favorite digital platform.
Shambhu (acoustic and electric guitars, e-bass, e-sitar, e-marimba, e-horn)
Premik Russell Tubbs (soprano saxophone)
Celso Alberti - drums and percussion
Frank Martin - piano
Geoffrey Menin - piano
Matteo Palmer - electric guitar
Todd Boston - percussion