If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
Minneapolis-based guitarist Glen Helgeson is a musical world traveler. His Axis Mundi group delves into Middle Eastern, Afro-Cuban and Haitian sounds, and his Gypsy Mania Quartet gets deep in the music of Django Reinhardt. With Distant Borders Revisited he brings members of both groups, and more, into the studio for an even wider-ranging journey.
A list of percussion instruments heard on the disc will give you an idea of the sound: doumbek, timbales, congas, udu drums, djembe, berimbau, riq. It's multiple percussion modes weaving complex textures behind Helgeson's guitarsincluding sitar and harp guitars that enhance the exotic atmosphere of the sound.
The set opens with "African Song." Helgeson floats his lilting guitar lines over a percussion stew. He's joined in the front line by violinist Gary Schulte, adding a gypsy tint to the Afro beat textures.
"Smooth Wes" is perhaps the least World Music tune on the set. It sounds like Wes Montgomery discovering the joy of taking a tangent out of the mainstream flow via Marc Anderson's spicy percussion.
"The Mambo Told Me" elicits images of a passionate dance, late at night in a tropical locale, and "Red Moon" features Helgeson on the sitar guitar, taking the music eastward on one of the more inward-looking tunes on the set. "A Wedding on Venus" sounds fittingly otherworldly, with Peter Ostrousko's mandolin adding a shimmer, while Keni Holman's clarinet gives the sound an Eastern European tint.
Distant Borders Revisited stirs up an entrancing, percussion-rich, whole world brew of sound.
Track Listing: African Song: Smooth Wes; The Mambo Told Me; Red Moon; A Wedding On Venus: Latin a la Linda; Room 231; River East; ...If This; Sweet Ears; The Whirl; Southern Exposure.
Personnel: Glen Helgeson: acoustic, electric, harp and sitar guitars; Peter Oshoushko: mandolin (5, 6, 8); Dean Magraw: guitar (2, 4, 10); Gary Schultz: violin (1, 3, 4, 11); Dave Stanoch: drums (1, 2, 3, 4, 11); Charles Fletcher: bass (1, 2, 3, 4, 11); Michael Bissonette: udu drums, congas, timbales, djembe (1, 3, 4, 11); Marc Anderson: berimbau, congas, doumbek, tabla, frame drum; Enrique Toussaint: bass (7, 8, 10, 12); Tim O'Keefe: riq, doumbek; Gordy Johnson: bass (6); Keni Holman: clarinet (5); Lee Blaske: keyboards (12); Tony Axtel: keyboards (2); Debbie Duncan vocals (7, 12).
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!