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Andreas Vollenweider - Cosmopoly CD (album) cover


Andreas Vollenweider


Crossover Prog

3.10 | 10 ratings

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3 stars In what can be regarded as the second of a two-part world music extravaganza, ANDREAS VOLLENWEIDER again assembled a who's who of far flung musical overachievers as co-collaborators. While "Kryptos" accented the classical derivations and philosophies, "Cosmopoly" is more jazz oriented, particularly of the Latin and Afro-Cuban varieties. Even the familiar and fulfilling "Stella", following his tradition of notable second tracks, exudes these playful and crisp vibes.

Bobby McFerrin's versatile vocal exercises warm the catchy "Elle Chelle". The Basque accordion of Kepa Junkera imparts an open air nostalgic scent to "Petit Smile". "Peachtree Valley" is perhaps his best fusion with Oriental motifs courtesy of Pingxing Xu's Chinese hammered dulcimer and Vollenweider's own erhu. Also of note are the Celtic inspired numbers "Under One Moon", which could pass for a mid period ALAN STIVELL track, and "At the Forest Fountain", benefiting from spirited piping by Spain's CARLOS NUNEZ. "Your Silver Key" is a brief but resounding contribution from CARLY SIMON, the best I have heard between these two artists, like a wayward JUDY COLLINS. VOLLENWEIDER plays the ancient wind instrument ocarina on "Long Road to You", backed elegantly by a string quartet.

The latter 4 tracks plunge with abandon into self possessed improvisation with more mixed results, with the accomplished guests occasionally drowning the arrangements, as they did on the earlier "Hush, My Heart, Be Still" and "Ancient Pulse" (where one might well be ok with ABDULLA IBRAHAM's kidnapping job) but "Cor do Amor" is a pitch perfect duo with MILTON NASCIMENTO.

While admittedly the catchment area of this release is a bit sprawling, "Cosmopoly" affirms that VOLLENWEIDER, while perhaps not in same division as his invitees, is worldly enough to pull off a project that both compliments and complements all involved. 3.5 stars

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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