Bei Bei & Shawn Lee "Into The Wind"

Bei Bei & Shawn Lee "Into The Wind"
TRACK OF THE DAY: Ubiquity Records continues to find new inspiration from soulful sounds of the sixties and seventies as a launching pad for contemporary sounds.

In stores on January 26 is Into The Wind, a collaboration between funky multi-instrumentalist Shawn Lee and Chinese guzheng player Bei Bei. The two joined forces for an EP last summer, but this full length explores more moods and textures.

The title track is part of a clutch of songs that represent the break-beat aspect of the project. Clearly referencing harpist Dorothy Ashby, who made outstanding psychedelic soul records for Chicago's Chess Records in the 60s, Bei Bei's guzheng weaves in and thrusts through the earthy beat laid down by Lee. The guzheng playing is much more skillful than Ashby's attempts at creating similar fusions with the Japanese koto.

The album contains several surprises. There are tracks in which the guzheng sounds like a mandolin, and sometimes a harp. The prolific Lee (this is his tenth album for the label in about 8 years) is sometimes too generic with his retro constructions, but this song and album have such a captivating lead instrument that his soulful and jazzy mood settings succeed admirably.

Download Bei Bei & Shawn Lee's "Into The Wind" here.