Dreaming of Now Shambhu 2013 / Acoustic Shine 53 minutes
"Dreaming of Now" is the follow-up to guitarist/composer Shambhu's 2010 chart-topping "Sacred Love." Produced by Shambhu, Will Ackerman, and Thomas Eaton, the recording features a superstar line-up of musicians that includes Charlie Bisharat (violin), Eugene Friesen (cello), George Brooks (sax), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn), Premik Russell Tubbs (wind instruments), et al; Shambhu performs on both acoustic and electric guitars. The music ranges from gentle acoustic guitar solos to jazzy ensemble jams, from dreamy serenity to up-tempo toe-tappers. It's a terrific range of music that allows all of the musicians to stretch out and do what they do best. When an artist debuts with an album as good as "Sacred Love," expectations run really high for the second release and Shambhu and company meet and exceed those expectations.
"Dreaming of Now" begins with "Waterfall," a gracefully flowing piece with a restrained energy that simmers just below the surface. Acoustic guitar and cello make such a beautiful pairing, and Eugene Friesen plays his part to soulful perfection. "Windows of Time" opens as a gentle guitar solo with a hint of violin in the background. More ambient than melodic, this lovely piece eventually becomes a trio for violin, guitar and sax. Love it! "Starbucks Landing" picks up the tempo considerably for a light-hearted caffeine-charged romp. Another favorite! The title track is pure peace set to music. Acoustic guitar and flute create a puffy white cloud of sound to simply float away on, completely blissful. "Rendezvous" is a smooth jazz masterpiece performed by at least most of the ensemble. "Devodance" starts out as quiet acoustic guitar solo, adding piano and percussion while remaining a whisper until Jeff Oster and Charlie Bisharat enter on flugel horn and violin. As the piece evolves, it becomes an gently-swaying slow dance full of heart and grace. I really like this one, too! "Searching" is an exquisite guitar solo that flows like an improvisation, looking inward and expressing itself freely and honestly - beautiful! "Jasmine" is sweetly intoxicating with acoustic and electric guitars, flute, percussion, and keyboard. Sometimes light as air and sometimes strongly rhythmic, it's a delight! "Sanctuary" ends the album with a gorgeous acoustic guitar solo that conveys a completely safe and perfect escape from the anxieties of the world.
"Dreaming of Now" firmly establishes Shambhu as a leading guitarist and composer of the contemporary instrumental/new age music movement, and he is to be commended for creating a work of peaceful serenity mixed with a little fun. The album is available from www.ShambhuMusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!!!