Title - 'One World'
Artist - Jesse Cook
Jesse Cook has spent the past 2 years touring North America in support of his PBS Television Pledge Concert film, "Jesse Cook: Live In Concert". This PBS Pledge Drive film has played on over 80% of the PBS stations in the country including such major markets as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle, Denver, Miami, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC.
Cook's new album, One World finds him back to his nouveau flamenco artistry that made his albums Frontiers and The Rhumba Foundation such critical and sales successes. One World takes you on a journey of exotic textures that will both attract new audiences and hold Cook's core fans in rapture.
The beautiful, Flamenco guitar and maraca-appeal to the opening rumba track 'Shake' is brought forth first, and what a truly delightful way to introduce an album to a listener. As aforementioned, new fan, or long time devotee, both will be immediately entranced by the emotive track and the rhythms contained within. The hypnotic musical ebbs and flows continue onward with 'Taxi Brazil,' and don't let up on 'Once' either. That said, the latter track is a more laid back affair, so whereas the former's attraction was the spice of the journey undertaken, the latter is the scenic melodies of the path casually, and less traveled.
Indian flavors combined with gentle techno back beats are next, and bring with them the delightful, highly emotive 'Bombay Slam,' a track that if you close your eyes, lean your head back to, and allow yourself to drift, will have you believing you are right there on the streets of Mumbai. The gentle acoustic guitar picking of the beautiful 'To Your Shore' is next, and is followed by much the same in 'Three Days.' Inclusive of a nice violin solo by Chris Church, the song is one of many stand out tracks. The pace is elevated somewhat for one of the best tracks on the album, for my money, the variant ambiance of 'Tommy And Me.' Featuring a guest appearance from Tommy Emmanuel, it is, well, rather lovely to listen to, for sure.
Next comes 'When Night Falls,' but it's the simply breathtaking 'Steampunk Rickshaw' that defies all belief in how something so beautiful could have not been created, in life, in this genre (or any other for that matter), ever before. Simplistic in its nature, grounded in its creation, it speaks, tells a story without words, quite like no other instrumental Cook has created. Wow, what a delight to behold on an album full to the brim with musical enlightenment. Next up is a track that could easily be a cut off a horror movie soundtrack, for 'Beneath Your Skin' may well begin slowly, but builds almost unknowingly, ensuring an underlying suspenseful vibe at all times. The album then comes to a close with 'Breath,' a sedate, quietly paced, melodic late night track perfect to close out the album.