On the Friday that Secret Places came in the mail for review, I had spent the week listening to a collection of Vivaldi's concertos and Sam Cooke. Now that's a wide spectrum no matter what demographic you poll, but Neil Jacobs took up his own place within it.
When most of us first encountered the 12-string, it was the clang-jangly shimmer of The Byrds. But, for over twenty-five years, this award winning performer and composer has toured the world, bringing a whole new emotional and spiritual virtuosity to the instrument. And, while on his travels, the musical languages he has encountered inspire his new disc.
Be it Ravel's Bolero or Tchaikovsky's Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy Jacobs covers the world vibe on his extraordinary 12-string, fusing flamenco, Celt, Balkan, Greek, jazz and gypsy. Performances of Song of Vojvodina, Morning At Ragged Point, My Norman Rockwell, and Singing Dunes are crystalline moments where mind, heart, spirit and finger-picking ability meld, creating their own quiet space. With an ensemble of musicians playing exotic and familiar instruments, i.e.: stand-up bass, udu, violin, brac, and bugarja, this is perfect music for those snowy mornings and sunsets, those Sundays where it's just you and the music.
Other Neil Jacobs CDs are: American Gypsy, World Blue and the fusion energy of Cold Fish.
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