Bola Sete | Shambhala Moon

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New Age: Healing Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Shambhala Moon

by Bola Sete

Bola Sete's solo guitar suite containing the music of hidden and magical places.
Genre: New Age: Healing
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Sun Pours Through the Darkness Gently, Gently
5:53 $0.99
2. Moonbeams, Moonlight, Midnight Magic
9:09 $0.99
3. Morning Rises Through the Mist
3:21 $0.99
4. Night Shadows
4:58 $0.99
5. Sorcerers, Spirits, Devas, and Delights
4:20 $0.99
6. Shambhala Moon
6:10 $0.99
7. Many Shades of Green
4:21 $0.99
8. Devas' Lament
3:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
September 2001

Bola Sete

When Bola Sete's widow Anne issued "Ocean Memories", a series of solo recordings made in 1972, it marked the first time his sophisticated solo guitar music had been on CD.

"Shambhala Moon" was recorded ten years later and issued originally on the Dancing Cat label. This re-issue on CD is the only known recording of Sete playing solo with a steel-string guitar.

The two suites that make up this recording are, frankly, on another level entirely than virtually anything else the guitarist issued in his lifetime. His fusion of Brazilian, classical, flamenco, jazz, and numerous folk styles was unprecedented and remains unmatched.

Here, while sitting in a full lotus position, Sete moves through an astonishing array of techniques and nuances of expression that make the sound of the guitar literally float, suspended outside the time-space continuum. His aren't seemingly flashy techniques, but most guitarists wouldn't even attempt them.

Often utilizing bossa nova and samba chord progressions to initiate an improvisation on a theme, he will slide through cascading minor keys (as on "Morning Rises Through the Mist") to find a place to embellish them by augmentation, suspension, and even diminishment, distilling a pattern to its essence before stretching it back out again, ending in an otherworldly counterpoint to his original premise.

No cut offers a greater example of this than the title piece, which Sete begins as a nocturne in E minor in the Spanish style before stretching it to a minor. Once he establishes a rhythmic and syntactic pattern on the sixth, he constructs a bridge to an augmented ninth and folds in everything he's played thus far, before tearing it back down to a skeletal whisper of a theme.

For guitar students and fans or not, "Shambhala Moon" is quite simply among the most inspired examples of passionate and technically brilliant guitar playing in the recorded history of the instrument.

Thom Jurek, All Music Guide



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Minor 7th Webzine

Why do I love this CD? As a trained classical guitarist, this recently discovered 1976 live performance by legendary Brazilian guitarist Bola Sete has everything I've been trained since childhood to dislike: frequent buzzing, wrong or missing notes, a bright tone quality to the sound, unclear arpeggios, and he even throws in the occasional poorly executed tremolo. All of that becomes irrelevant however, since this recording also offers some of the most inspired, soulful South American guitar playing anyone could ever hope to hear. One is well advised to find a comfortable seat in which to listen to this entire performance attentively. It is the nuances of Sete's style and interpretation that carry this disc. These details are supported by the overall architecture of the recital, which has a beautifully constructed program that smoothly guides the listener from one piece to the next. The compositions are written primarily by Sete, however there are the occasional pieces by others, most notably two works by the equally famous Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell. Although melodically pleasing in the beginning, Sete tends to build through his own works towards extended strumming passages seemingly for the purpose of a strong ending. This format, although rhythmically driven and exciting for the audience, became somewhat tiresome after 10 tracks and nearly an hour of music. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the 15 minute fourth track entitled "Flamenco Fantasy". Unfortunately Sete's compositional style does not account for the necessary structure to carry a piece of such a length, leaving this listener thoroughly ready for its completion before the 10 minute mark. Minor criticisms aside however, this CD offers the raw emotion and excitement that one rarely encounters in solo guitar recordings.