83

Ch: Selwa

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Ch: Selwa While East meets West collaborations are nothing new, it is rare that such joinings actually transcend both sensibilities, creating a new and greater whole. With Selwa , guitarist/soundscapist Steve Tibbetts returns to Tibet for another meeting with singer Chöying Drolma, last heard together seven years ago on Chö (Hannibal). Expanding on ideas developed with their first recording, Tibbetts, along with long-time musical partner and percussionist Marc Anderson, creates an even richer tapestry of music to accompany Drolma's songs and chants.

It's really quite remarkable to consider that Tibbetts and Anderson recorded Drolma's vocals in Tibet, and then returned to the more, well, secular surroundings of St. Paul, Minnesota to build layers of acoustic and electric guitars, samples, loops and percussion around her work. The result is so integrated that one could imagine these recordings being made live. Tibbetts and Anderson's support is undeniably organic; for all the studio wizardry, obviously involved in creating the final result, it sounds neither forced nor overly considered.

Tibbetts' body of work, largely recorded for the ECM label, including '02's A Man About A Horse , has always retained a certain ethereal spiritual quality, something that he shares with labelmate Stephan Micus , albeit in a completely different context. But his work with Drolma brings out an even more mysterious quality. Gentle and tranquil, dramatic at times but never overstated, Tibbetts and Anderson create a warm foundation for Drolma that is without ego yet not without personality. The profundity of this collaboration rises above mere musical consideration, becoming something meditative and enigmatic.

While Selwa examines a specific musical and spiritual space, it manages to reflect a diversity that gives the entire recording a broader arc. The sounds range from the peaceful calm of "Chendren," where Tibbetts layers ambient washes of sound beneath Drolma's rubato prayer, to the delicate forward motion of Anderson's treated percussion on "Palden Rangjung," and "Vakritunda," which combines a more insistent rhythm with Tibbetts' acoustic guitar and Carnatic-tinged electric, taking an essentially simple melody and developing ever-shifting harmonies around it. There may be silence between the individual tracks, but rather than separating the pieces, they serve more as moments for reflection that actually tie the entire cycle together as a single work, something to be experienced as a whole.

Elegantly conceived and with deep reverence for a thousand year-old tradition, Selwa is as musically contemplative and searching Drolma's texts. On this journey as much spiritual as aural, Drolma, Tibbetts and Anderson have collaborated to create an album of clear and unequivocal beauty.

Visit Steve Tibbetts on the web.


Track Listing: Padmakara; Palden Rangjung; Vakritunda; Kyamdro Semkye; Gayatri; Song of Realization; Yumchen Tukar; Mandala Offering; Chenrezi; Chendren; Je Lama

Personnel: Ch

Year Released: 2005 | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review Outlier
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 1, 2016
Read "The Roc" CD/LP/Track Review The Roc
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Negative Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Negative Spaces
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1" CD/LP/Track Review Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "The Music Of Jackie McLean" CD/LP/Track Review The Music Of Jackie McLean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!