Ede Wright: Shangrila
Ede Wright (guitar, percussion, programming)
Ede Wright (guitar, percussion, programming),
Takana Miyamoto (acoustic piano), Chris Burroughs (drums).
Composed by Ede Wright.
Recorded: Atlanta, Georgia, March 2008
Rating: 99/100 (learn more)
Sometimes I don't have all the information needed to fill out the jazz.com template for a new review. In the case of guitarist Ede Wright's Earthbound Gravity, I could not find the recording date. Since I had Wright's contact information, I called to find out and to ask him another question. He said the album was recorded in March 2008. I told him that I loved the CD, and thought the last cut, "Shangrila," was particularly brilliant. He graciously thanked me and asked if I noticed it was an ode to John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucia. You bet I did!
The tune is an acoustic outing. Wright strums some full chords in rhythm to a driving snare and cymbal accompaniment, which may remind some listeners of the acoustic guitar intro on Stealers Wheel's 1972 "Stuck in the Middle With You," but played faster and a bit sideways. Soon the chords and beats meet in an impressive display of timekeeping and cohesion. Chords and drums suddenly disappear, replaced by a low distorted hum and the beauty of Wright's acoustic soloing. Ede Wright can play the hell out of that acoustic guitar.
To my ears, the influences break down this way:
90% John McLaughlin
5% Paco De Lucia
5% Al Di Meola
Wright's lines are clean, crisp and contain tension and beauty. Great speed runs are easily within his finger reach. This is some fantastic guitar playing. Wright's music is alive with rhythms and melodies skillfully expressed with touch and real meaning. This is one of the best acoustic guitar performances I have heard in some time. I implore you to listen.
BTW: The other question I asked Wright was whether the interesting bassline I heard was being performed by a bassist he forgot to credit or was it him? It was him. I was not surprised.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky