Guitarist Jim Stubblefield Has New World-Fusion Album


New member

Guitarist Jim Stubblefield just does not put out enough recordings. He has finally served up a new solo album, Guitarre Mystique, about two years after his fantasic Encantado CD. And before that his output was quite spotty with wide gaps between projects. But thankfully we have this new one and it is a winner. At first it seems like just another mellow quiet calm instrumental album featuring nylon-string guitar played with Latin inflections because the opening track “Saint-Tropez” is slow and simple (but with a pretty melody). For some reason Stubblefield felt the need to lull us into a complacent, perhaps malleable state, before slowly trotting out a whole arsenal of sounds, styles and speeds.

The second tune, “Caravan of Souls” (strange title), also has a slow beat, but has lots of rhythm (excellent pronounced bass by Randy Tico), plus violin soloing and a couple of different guitars. “Azure” is another fairly slow number, somewhat plodding but with a lot going on, especially the wonderful viola soloing by the great Novi Novog (one of Hollywood’s top session players). Finally on “Before The Storm” and “Café Café” the pace gets all the way up to mid-tempo, the former with a deep rhythm and some female vocalizing, and the latter with guitarist Eric Hansen joining Stubblefield.

The longest track (at eight-and-a-half-minutes) is “Voyager Aeternam” which is a deep, deep tune with an outer-space riff brought back to earth by Novog’s warm violin. The intensity gets cranked up a notch on the mid-tempo “Moonlight Requiem,” which has both violin and strings, as well as the female voice again. But the action really kicks in on “Oculus Tempestatis,” an upbeat guitar workout with some female chanting prominent from time to time. With “Rumba Furiosa, Opus 2,” do not expect anything classical. This is quite upbeat with some strange chanting by a group of men alongside guitars (acoustic and electric dueting). Also fairly upbeat is the closing tune, “Sueno Pacifico,” featuring great rhythms in a world-beat setting including an electric guitar solo.

This album is solid, start-to finish, with no disappointing tunes. Jim has a great band here and excellent arrangements and production. The tunes have sturdy melodic structures that serve as fine platforms for tasty soloing. Find this music, put it in your ears and see what I am talking about. Worth it.