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on 25 April 2009
Never one to rest on his laurels and produce a formulaic album of straight ahead jazz,Andy Sheppard launches into yet another of his many varied projects.Theses seven pieces are inspired by paintings but i feel are more indicative of ones ever changing moods rather than pieces of art. with Sheppard himself ,the two guitar line-up of John Parricelli and Eivind Aarset plus Arild Anderson on bass and Kuljit Bharma on tabla this really is a multi cultural group.
The pieces themselves are quite varied with "La Tristesse Du Roi" being strongly melodic and upbeat with Parricelli taking a lovely almost Flamenco'ish guitar solo to complement Sheppard's warm toned tenor sax."We shall not go to the market today" is another warm sunny piece and probably comes across as the strongest and emotional piece of the album."The more reflective and melancholy "Internationl Blue" is very ECM'ish in its conception with subtle electronic effects and sparse guitar chords wafting behind Sheppards's bleak sounding soprano."Ballerina" takes a different approach and opens with an accoustic/electric guitar duet before some mellow tenor slips into what really is an old fashioned ballad.
There are too many pleasure to describe in full detail and suffice it to say the the sound quality and production values of ECM are fautless as always.
A diferent and enjoyable album for relaxed evening listening.Enjoy.
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on 22 April 2009
Andy Sheppard is back to his best with his first album for ECM, inspired by paintings. Brilliant Tabla playing by Kuljit Bhamra underpins the album,with electronic effects complementing the master's lovely tone and phrasing on Soprano and Tenor Sax. At times one wishes he would let go a bit more, as he does live, but 'We shall not go to market Today' is the wonderful climax to the album, inventive, melodic and at times echoing the sublime 'Learning to Wave', his masterpiece.
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on 14 May 2009
Andy Sheppard hits the mark again! Following on from Nocturnal Tourist, PS and Birds, this latest album echoes elements from those previous offerings - there's obvious sibling DNA in there - so unmistakably Sheppard. But that's no criticism the compositions are masterfully put together and executed in typical Sheppard style on both soprano and tenor saxophone. Kujit Bjarma's rhythmic percussion is a joy to hear.

The recent move to ECM Records delivers impeccable production quality too. If only it was available on vinyl!

Thoroughly recommended.
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on 10 May 2009
A real return to form for Andy Sheppard, with his best album since Nocturnal Tourist. With breathtaking control on the soprano he demonstrates why he is in my opinion the top saxophonist in the country. Following his collaboration with John Paricelli on PS it is good to see him continuing the partnership. Supereb percussion and innovative melodies. Open your ears you will not be dissapointed.
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I can't believe that I have had this CD for five years! This album is very kind to the ears and is very relaxing to listen to. The music is engaging and holds one's interest. It seems "laid back" (I am sure that it isn't).
Obviously Andy's saxophone playing is to the fore, but we are always aware of the presence of tabla player, Kuljit Bhamra, but not in an intrusive way. The bass playing by Arild Andersen is quiet and skilful, reminiscent of that of Chris Laurence. There are two guitarists one of whom is long standing colleague, John Parricelli; the other Eivind Aarset.

The presence of the tabla brings a certain Indian influence to the sounds we experience on this CD.

Overall the music is a development from that on "Learning To Wave" and "Dancing Man".
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on 20 May 2015
Indian rhythms form the background to Andy Sheppard's jazz saxophone with surprisingly interesting effect. It is really upbeat and atmospheric. I particularly like We Shall Not Go To Market Today, because of the shear joy of the saxophone playing. La Tristesse Du Roi is a soulful opening track, while Bing is rhythmic and Sheppard reaches some very good moments. May Song is also engaging in its melody. I really love this CD!
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on 17 June 2009
As always with Andy Sheppard, technically perfect and beautifully played but strangely lacking in passion. Awful to say but could be 'elevator music'. I have everything Andy Sheppard has ever recorded and have gone to see him whenever he has come to Manchester (most recent RNCM gig excepted as it clashed with some local team playing in Rome) but this is not his best. I will still watch out for his next appearance on CD and in Manchester.
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on 10 July 2009
I believe this is Andy Sheppard's first disc as leader for ECM. It is not exactly a major shift from what he done in other contexts but in important ways he has adapted to the house ethos of ECM and produced music that is a powerful development of what he has done before. There is a haunting lyricism to the work of all the musicians here that makes it an important release and a record that is very well worth getting.
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on 1 February 2011
Listening to this CD brought me immediately back to 2010 North Sea Jazz. The same mystical mood charges the air. The music is difficult to compare to any other jazz music. Some times it is evoking almost some sort of trance, but way before it might get boring, the rithm changes and variations come in. It gets better with repeated listening, which is aided by the excellent and warm ECM recording.
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on 22 July 2009
This marks a landmark in Andy Sheppard's work, and is just gorgeous. Not only that, but you also get Kuljit Bhamra on tabla and Arild Anderson on bass. I thought indo-jazz fusion was dead, but it's not.
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