Glen Helgeson,
Distant Borders Revisited
(Worldview, 2006)

Distant Borders Revisited might be classified world jazz, as Glen Helgeson's compositions are inspired by the music of many countries. The main musicians are members of Helgeson's group Axis Mundi. There are five new tracks here, along with seven from two earlier CDs, Distant Borders(1993) and Spirit of the Wood(1997).

Parts of it sound like smooth jazz, which would be a strike against it for some people. A portion of the music, written or cowritten by Helgeson, leans toward the generic.

On the other hand, there is plenty of drums and percussion of various types and countries. Violinist Gary Schulte adds energy to the four cuts he plays on. And Helgeson changes the sound by adding harp and sitar guitar at times, in addition to acoustic and electric. Peter Ostroushko plays mandolin on three tunes.

This is recommended for those who like world fusion with a light touch.

review by
Dave Howell

26 January 2008

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