Posts Tagged ‘ True North ’

Lawson Rollins – True North

Lawson Rollins’ recordings have always possessed a grand sense of travel, exoticism and adventure, narrated by the global guitarist’s prodigious and alacritous classical finger-style play that Guitar Player magazine recently spotlighted by selecting Rollins as one of the “50 Transcendent Acoustic Guitarists” of all-time. After embarking upon a creative departure on a few recent projects, the chart-topping composer-producer-musician, best known for crafting lush amalgams of contemporary jazz, world music, Latin and New Age over the past twenty years, charts a more familiar course on his tenth solo album, “True North,” dropping January 17, 2020 on Infinita Records. Yet there is a marked difference in his approach.

The prolific Rollins spent the last couple of years exploring vast horizons. Last year, he assembled “Airwaves: The Greatest Hits,” which includes the Billboard top 10 hit “World of Wonder” featuring 3rd Force and earlier this year, he released the experimental “Dark Matter: Music for Film.” Rollins also scored his first feature film, “Stay Out Stay Alive,” a multiple award-winning movie opening November 26 for which he served as executive producer of the film festival favorite. These diverse projects broadened the scope of his artistic muse, now budding in entirely new and different dimensions. Culling elements from each one, Rollins picked up his trusty acoustic nylon string guitar and utilized a fresh approach to write and produce “True North,” the first album that he produced entirely on his own. The wide array of projects also impacts the way he plays guitar, which exhibits a keener focus, discipline and restraint.

“The past couple of years have really expanded my musical horizons through my work on film music and also the single, ‘And If You Will Come With Me’ by Israeli superstar singer Idan Raichel. Those experiences forced me to hone down my quite often exuberant nylon string guitar style to suit the needs of the particular projects and also to delve more seriously into other instruments like the electric guitar, synthesizers and electronic percussion programming. With ‘True North,’ I was able to bring that new knowledge and perspective back home, in a sense, to the type of nylon string guitar-centered music that has been my true calling as an artist over the past 20 years,” said the San Francisco-based Rollins who hails from Durham, North Carolina. Continue reading

Leslie Pintchik – True North

A stew whose ingredients include straight jazz, sassy blues and classic soul might be a good way to describe what pianist Leslie Pintchik cooks up with True North (Pintch Hard Records, 2016). With original titles that play on common sayings, like “Just Sayin’” and “Crooked as a Dog’s Leg,” and a small assortment of covers, Pintchik serves up a delicious meal for the ears.

Performing with Pintchik are Scott Hardy, bass; Michael Sarin, drums; Satoshi Takeishi, percussion on all but the closing track; and Steve Wilson, alto and soprano saxophones, and Ron Horton, trumpet and flugelhorn on selected tracks.

“Tumbleweed” is a moderately paced, ambient piece. One can visualize the Nevada desert, where the piano represents traveling the countryside, with the soft play of the horns being the wind that causes the tumbleweed to roll across the landscape. Bass and drum rhythms add just a touch of samba, and the percussion suggests an animal or two that come across the tumbleweed’s path. Horton and Wilson contribute solos.

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