a vibrant Hispanic community of more than 5 million people, the city
of Los Angeles boasts many ways to celebrate Latin American music. No
that San Francisco. based Lawson Rollins is infected by this type of music. He
consequently started his career last year with the
Latin guitar fusion album
His sophomore album Espirito he
produced with Shahin Shahida (of the Persian-American World Music
group Shahin & Sepehr) and Dominic Camardella (3rd Force, Ottmar
Liebert). Lawson is supported by singer Flora Purim, percussionist
Airto Moreira, violinist Charlie Bisharat, Afghan vocalist Humayun
Khan (harmonium), Jeff Elliot (trumpet), Randy Tico (bass), and Dave
Bryant (drums, percussion).
“I love the hybrid quality of World
Music and how it allows for cross-cultural communication and exchange.
The Spanish guitar is a true manifestation of the commingling of
cultures with its ties to the Arabic oud, the Persian tar, even the
Indian sitar, so drawing on those connections seems natural to me,”
Rollins explains his new album. “We took a far-ranging musical journey
with the players on Espirito. Near the end (of the record), we
slide into the ether. The notes slow down and evaporate into silence,
a prayerful conclusion to the album, a moment of thankfulness for the
alchemy that took place between the musicians.”
On Rumba del Sol Lawson Rollins
and Charlie Bisharat fight a strong Flamenco battle. I will never find
out who is playing the notes quicker, anyway really impressing.
Moonlight Samba presents a modest attitude and let the lovely
melody flow. Flora Purim and Flora's daughter Diana Booker refine the
song with breathed words, although Lawson's powerful acoustic guitar takes the
With great elegance Lawson Rollins
approach the Cuban center of Latin music with Havana Heat.
Shahin Shahida adds a special accent with his slide guitar. Also
excellent the horn arrangement of Jeff Elliot (trumpet), Hicham El
Anmari and Justin Claveria (saxophone) in the style of a Mexican
Mariachi band. Café La Martinique stays in the Caribbean area.
Drink a Latte Macchiato and enjoy the café house music.
Some thousands kilometers to south we
arrived in Rio. Return To Rio featuring Flora Purim puts us in
the right mood for Carnival. Blue Mountain Bolero is a seldom
combination of violin, slide guitar, electric guitar and acoustic
guitar. Cowboy romantic with a Latin flavor.
This album not only offers musical
artistry but also beautiful melodies like Santa Lucia Waltz.
This time Charlie Bisharat adds to his bow play a piccicato layer. My
personal favorite is the title song Espirito sparkling so much
joy and happiness. I want to go to Rio.
Cape Town is a pulsing city in
South Africa. Cape Town Sky is Lawson Rollins personal view.
The music is though more a mirror of Madrid. Footprints is a
further musical suggestion for a better and uplifting mood. The album
is finished with The Caravan Trilogy (Migration,
Shadowland and Into The Light) a passage through the world
assimilating influences of foreign countries like India, The Middle
East and Spain.
Lawson Rollins's sophomore album
Espririto is a special treat of his major art of love. A feast of
classical acoustic guitar and world music full of picturesque facets.
Buy the album in all stores
Artist: Lawson Rollins
Genre: General World
Label: Infinita Records
01 Rumba del Sol [4:34]
02 Moonlight Samba [5:39]
03 Havanna Heat [4:17]
04 Café La Martinique [6:10]
05 Return To Rio [4:51]
06 Blue Mountain Bolero [4:38]
07 Santa Lucia Waltz [4:33]
08 Espirito [5:45]
09 Cape Town Sky [6:05]
10 Footprints [2:29]
The Caravan Trilogy:
11 Migration [6:46]
12 Shadowland [6:35]
13 Into The Light [4:21]