There is Shambhu and then there is Shambhu. No. . .not really. There is only one Shambhu we are referring to here (Shambhu / Neil Vineberg), one of the best and most acclaimed jazz guitarists and composers of our time.
Here on his 6th release, “Life Passage,” he is joined by a first-class ensemble of New Age, jazz and world musicians, including bassist Michael Manring, pianist Frank Martin, flutist Premik Russell Tubbs, violinist Nathaniel Wolkstein, and percussionist Nelson Myers-Daly.
This most calming 5 track EP, born in the pandemic, is a perfectly gentle blend of New Age, jazz, and Indian styles. The EP was mixed and mastered by Todd Boston at Spatial Sound Studios in Portland, Oregon.
A little background on Shambhu: Shambhu is featured on “Equinox,” with Premik Russell Tubbs, Whitney Houston’s, “Whitney,” Jeff Oster’s “Next,” “Ricochet – The Echoes Living Room Concerts (Vol 20),” two Will Ackerman compilations, “The Gathering II” and “The Gathering I,” “The Guitar – The Best of New Age Reviews,” Ann Licater’s, “Doorway to a Dream,” and Matteo Palmer’s, “Safe Haven.” Shambhu has also played / recorded with Carlos Santana, Paul McCandless, Eugene Friesen, Tony Levin, Jeff Haynes, Ravichandra Kulur, George Brooks, Grammy® –winning producer/drummer, Narada Michael Walden, and the late E-street saxist, Clarence Clemons, among others.
This truly great EP opens with, “Because of You,” which features Michael Manring and Frank Martin along with Shambhu. This is an extremely soul-soothing track in every way and a most enjoyable start to the album.
Following is the equally serene, “Gentle Flower,” with tranquil piano by Frank Martin and Shambhu’s wonderful guitar as well. This is quite beautiful.
The title track is a gorgeous tribute to the late Chick Korea with whom Shambhu studied with online during the pandemic. Shambhu’s acoustic guitar puts the soul at ease with this “Life Passage.” Gorgeous.
“Mars Dawn” is exceptionally beautiful, flowing, and lushly layered, with the haunting French horn of Premik Russell Tubbs meshing perfectly with the tranquility of Shambhu’s soft guitar and outstanding orchestral strings by Nathaniel Wolkstein. This is certainly a favorite here and one to listen to over and over again.
This wonderful EP closes out with the upbeat, “Shambhu.” Here, we have an Indian temple-beat fusion based on a melody by Sri Chinmoy. Shambhu plays guitar, e-sitar and e-pads, accompanied by world percussionist Nelson Myers-Daly plus Premik Russell Tubbs on bansuri flute making this extra special and enjoyable. The EP releases September 29, 2022. Supremely peaceful, get the whole thing.
Official artist website: https://www.shambhumusic.com/