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Gino Foti | Sphere Of Influence

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World: World Fusion Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Featuring Bass
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Sphere Of Influence

by Gino Foti

Instrumental Jazz/World Fusion - Centered around the universal "Union Of Opposites" concept, the compositions contain a dynamic balance of rhythm, melody, and harmony by integrating ethnic sonorities into his jazz-rock fusion palette.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Infinite Realms of Light and Dark
6:29 $0.99
2. Amor Y Poder
5:43 $0.99
3. Heart and Mind United
4:28 $0.99
4. Dancing On the Edge of a Dream
4:43 $0.99
5. Degrees of Force
5:09 $0.99
6. Marirangwe
5:12 $0.99
7. Within the Circles
4:07 $0.99
8. Saudade
4:08 $0.99
9. Seafaring Soul
4:24 $0.99
10. One Day As a Lion
4:35 $0.99
11. Paths of the Warrior
4:55 $0.99
12. Ouroboros
4:45 $0.99
13. Tender Shadows
4:18 $0.99
14. Prescient Visions
5:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

"Each one has his circle of influence, large or small; within his sphere so many souls and minds are involved; with his rise, they rise; with his fall, they fall. The size of a man’s sphere corresponds with the extent of his sympathy, or we may say, with the size of his heart. His sympathy holds his sphere together. As his heart grows, his sphere grows; as his sympathy is withdrawn or lessened, so his sphere breaks up and scatters. If he harms those who live and move within his sphere, those dependent upon him or upon his affection, he of necessity harms himself. His house or his palace or his cottage, his satisfaction or his disgust in his environment is the creation of his own thought. Acting upon his thoughts, and also part of his own thoughts, are the thoughts of those near to him; others depress him and destroy him, or they encourage and support him, in proportion as he repels those around him by his coldness, or attracts them by his sympathy.

Each individual composes the music of his life. It he injures another, he brings disharmony. When his sphere is disturbed, he is disturbed himself, and there is a discord in the melody of his life. If he can quicken the feeling of another to joy or to gratitude, by that much he adds to his own life; he becomes himself by that much more alive. Whether conscious of it or not, his thought is affected for the better by the joy or gratitude of another, and his power and vitality increase thereby, and the music of his life grows more in harmony." ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sphere Of Influence

Composition Notes:

1. Coniunctio Oppositorum: Part I - Infinite Realms Of Light And Dark

When opposing elements encounter each other they can repel or neutralize themselves, or according to Jungian thought, it can lead to the Coniunctio Oppositorum - the Union Of Opposites - a form of higher unity and transcendence of polarities. The concept that opposite aspects are really parts of one dynamic process is universal to all cultures, past and present, and I thought that this theme was an excellent explanation of what I was trying to achieve musically with this release: merge several ethnic traditions and disparate musical elements into a unified whole, as well as creating a dynamic interplay between the dual aspects of rhythm and melody of the bass guitar.

This composition blends traditional Asian instruments and themes with jazz fusion-styled bass guitar over major (light) and minor (dark) modalities. It features yangchin (aka yang qin - a Chinese dulcimer) and dizu (Chinese transverse flute) solos, as well as a brief bass guitar lead, all backed by several percussion instruments, including: bangu (frame drum), muyui (tuned woodblocks), paiban (castanets), paigu (Chinese drum set), gongs, bells, and cymbals.

2. Part II - Amor Y Poder (Love and Power)

As the title suggests, this arrangement alternates between gentle and powerful sections in a variety of Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern rhythms, including: Ayyub (or Ayyuub), Baladi (or Beledi, Baledy), Cheftitelli (or Ciftetelli), Maqsum (or Maksum, Maqsoum), Malfuf (or Malfouf), and Saidi (or Sayyidii) - all performed on two doumbeks. Classical guitars, fretted and fretless bass guitars round out the instrumentation playing both lead and supportive roles while trying to maintain song flow over all the dynamic sections.

3. Part III - Heart And Mind United

This arrangement is centered around question-and-answer & tradeoff solo sections between me on piano and my Electrum bandmate, guitarist Dave Kulju, over various percussion instruments and rhythms from throughout the globe. It also includes an ensemble section sharing fragmented melody lines that recalls our past efforts in the instrumental progressive rock genre.

4. Dancing On The Edge Of A Dream

Bass guitar is joined by two classical guitars and several Latin percussion instruments playing different Bossa feels.

5. Degrees Of Force

This composition features individual piano and fretless bass guitar solos, as well as a call-and-response section between the two, in the Spanish Phrygian (or Phrygian Dominant) scale, over a bed of rhythm guitars and Latin jazz-styled congas, bongos, and hi-hat cymbals. This arrangement showcases keyboardist Chris Rossi.

6. Marirangwe

The title is the Shona (Zimbabwe and Mozambique) vernacular for "dusk", literally "when the leopard hunts". The main instrument for this piece is the mbira (thumb piano), which is closely associated with the Shona people as it pervades all aspects of their culture. Using their traditional repertoire as a point of departure, I arranged two mbira parts - a leading (kushaura) and an intertwining (kutsinhira), and added jazz-rock fusion ideas on top. Additional instrumentation includes: djoun (aka djun djun - African drum), clay pots, marimba, and of course - fretted and fretless bass guitars, with the latter performing a solo in 6/8 time signature.

7. Within The Circles

Traditional rhythms and instruments from Thailand are blended with bass guitars in this composition. Some of the Thai instruments include: khlui (aka klui - a wooden flute), pii (bamboo whistle), wode (pan pipes), khong (bronze gong), ching, chhap (both cymbals), and klong yao (hand drum).

8. Saudade

Saudade is a Portuguese word that is not easy to translate. In his book 'In Portugal', AFG Bell wrote: "The famous saudade of the Portuguese is a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness."

Acoustic piano is joined by fretless bass, acoustic guitar, and Latin jazz-styled percussion over a repeating chromatic progression, meant to represent a nostalgic tension between the longness for what is gone and the expectation of return.

9. Seafaring Soul

Piano and fretless bass guitar are the prominent instruments playing over a rhythm section of two electric guitars, frame drum, and a doumbek playing Ayyub (a driving Mediterranean rhythm) patterns. Following the central themes of the quote above and this release, dynamic balance between the main instruments was my main focus for this piece.

10. One Day As A Lion

Fretted and fretless bass guitar are joined by African percussion, voices, flutes, mallet instruments (marimba, tongue drum, slit drum), and of course - a pride of lions - in an arrangement that features 6/8 and 7/8 odd time signatures.

11. Paths Of The Warrior
a.) Awareness b.) Transformation c.) Intent

Assembled from jam sessions and unused material by Electrum, this miniature suite features piano, bass guitar, and fretless bass with each instrument taking the lead role in one of the sections that receive their titles from the three Masteries of the Toltec (pre-Aztec Mexican) tradition. Drum kit, congas, woodblocks, and classical guitars round out the instrumentation for this piece.

12. Ouroboros

The title refers to an ancient Mediterranean symbol, shown as a snake (or serpent) that is devouring its own tail, representing several concepts, such as: completion, totality, the endless round of existence, and any other cyclic patterns and principles used to describe humanity and/or nature. I thought the symbolism worked well given the extensive use of loops used, the sinuous movement of the arrangement, and its tie-in to the album's main concept.

A "tongue-in-cheek" composition featuring fretted and fretless bass guitars, electric guitars, and Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern percussion - mostly doumbeks (or doumbec, darbuka) playing jazz-funk patterns and also performing a panned call-and-response solo.

13. Tender Shadows

An acoustic piano and classical guitar composition, mainly in 6/8 and 3/4 time signatures, in the Baroque "chiaroscuro" style -- blending shades of light and darkness in the hopes of producing a unified whole.

14. Prescient Visions

A reverie of Native American voices, featuring the Dine (Navajo) peoples, percussion (drums, shakers, rattles, etc.), ocarinas, and flutes are fused with fretted and fretless bass guitar, two drum kits, electric violin, and numerous synth themes and beds.



to write a review

Joseph Shingler (ProgNaut)

Incorporates an ethnic potpourri of musical styles into his compositions...
Foti incorporates an ethnic potpourri of musical styles into his compositions: Cuban, African, European, Native American, and Middle Eastern. His tightly constructed instrumental arrangements bring to mind the jazz fusion group Shadowfax, the ambient Asian influenced Jade Warrior, or the later period new age works of Mike Oldfield.

His fluid bass style is reminiscent of Percy Jones (Brand X), Finnish bassist Pekka Pohjola, Jaco Pastorius, or Mark Egan ... expressively using the fretless bass as a lead instrument... well worth a listen.

Brian S. Lunde (JazzReview.com)

Impressive in the range of rhythms and sounds
Foti’s work on both releases is impressive in the range of rhythms and sounds from around the world that he blends into his compositions. Sphere of Influence is probably the better of the two collections, even though it is less consistent; its best tracks are the best of the combined 28 tracks between the two. But if you enjoy world music and jazz fusion, you are sure to find both Orbis Terrarum and Sphere of Influence worthy additions to your collection.

Douglas Sloan (Metronome Magazine)

Examines and expands world fusion to a whole new dimension.
(Top Pick for February 2007) Gino Foti is a man of immense talents. Like his album Orbis Terrarum, Sphere Of Influence examines and expands the genre of world fusion to a whole new dimension. Foti not only produces, arranges, mixes and masters Sphere Of Influence, but he also performs on all forms of bass guitars including MIDI bass, plays a host of different keyboards and creates and extracts sound loops and samples with skillful, surgeon-like mastery. His technique is stunning to say the least. Saluting great bass players like Jaco Pastorius, Jonas Hellborg, Geddy Lee and others, it's no wonder why Foti's playing has grown to such mammoth proportions. If you're adventurous and are looking for a new voice in jazz fusion, I highly recommend you check out Foti's music.

Steve Roberts (ZNR Records)

Beautiful melodies played with some very distinctive bass work.
This is Gino's second release on his own and, like his debut "Orbis Terrarum", a lot of this reminds me of some of Pekka Pohjola's work - beautiful melodies played in a semi-classical style with some very distinctive bass work! But this veers off into a certain Asian flavor that also recalls Vangelis' great "China" album or some of Jade Warrior's best work! If you enjoy lush instrumental prog then Gino's CDs are definitely right up your alley!

Eric W. Saeger (Independent reviewer)

...it’s brilliant...
Sphere of Influence, as the name hides so well, is a sideways nod to Rush’s Hemispheres album of approximately 650 million years ago, but in title (and liner-note thank-yous to Geddy Lee) only; what Foti is about when he’s alone with his (wild stab here) Rickenbacker is world music, period, and needless to say it’s brilliant, if brilliant to you is firing a fully automatic paintball gun at a spinning globe and splotching every country. The opening zither measures denote Italy, then squat properly in China for six zen-like minutes; “Amor y Poder” explores bullfighter pump-up; “Degrees of Force” is salsa for Tucker Carlson.

J-Sin (Smother Magazine)

Great for the traveling soul.
Fusing various world influences together, Gino Foti has crafted himself a passport of music. There’s a bit of Asian, jazz, fusion, Middle Eastern, and other influences that vein their way through the entire piece. Great for the traveling soul.