Bob Brozman Orchestra Lumiere

Bob Brozman Orchestra Lumiere

After many decades of collaboration with mentors, friends and inspirations, National steel guitar specialist Bob Brozman has realised his most ambitious project yet: a certifiable guitar-chestra. The unsettling Aphex Twin-like cover says it all — two dozen carbon-copied, bearded Brozmans armed with stringed instruments from around the world affix you with their steely gaze. And the music reflects the visuals. At least ten guitar variants show up on each track, along with modest amounts of percussion. The songs reflect influences from all his ports of call — Hawaii, Reunion Island, India, Mali, Indonesia — strung together with melodies that originate from the deep Southern blues. There are rich contrasts in similar instruments — the approach to slide guitar in a Hawaiian style on "Aloha Laie” next to the custom-made Indian slide guitars found on "Chaturangui Gazal.” This is profoundly roots-y music but mashed up in an unflinching, all-consuming fusion. It just doesn’t seem fusion-y due to the acoustic instrumentation. As a result, this may be the hyper-roots disc of the year. (Riverboat)