Friday, April 13, 2012

CD Review: Jef Stott's 'Arcana'

Jef Stott
Six Degrees Records

The San Francisco-based multi-instrumentalist and producer, Jef Stott, releases a glorious work of world sounds in both traditional and contemporary arrangements. Arcana refers to the major arcana within the Tarot world. As a term that signifies a higher purpose or deeper meaning in life, Arcana fits that void almost magically. The groovy and danceable tracks traverse the Middle East, North Africa, Siberia, and South Asia. Jef plays the oud, darbuka, daff, riqq, bendir, qarqarba, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, hammered dulcimer, bass, keyboard, and special effects throughout the album. Other highlights are Sonja Drakulich's throat-singing on "Deep Playa," MC Rai on "Le Club Lebanon" and "Gnawa Jam," and Eliyahu Sills on Bansuri flute on "Hero's Return" and "White Tara." The free-floating melodies and rhythms with rich instrumentation makes Arcana a bonafide oasis in the crowded world of fusion, dub, dance, and electronica. ~ Matthew Forss

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