* Cutout CD, notch on the left spine
With a style that sounds like a blend of Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, Joni Mitchell, and Ralph Towner, guitarist Richard Leo Johnson creates acoustic music that is beautiful, impressive, and instantly appealing. For his second Blue Note release, Johnson brought in veteran music masters Paul McCandless and Glen Moore of Oregon, Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes, accordion man Andy Reinhardt, and several rhythmic accompanists to flesh out his compositions. Each guest musician was invited to play along with Johnson's guitar tracks, not hearing what any of the others had played. The result is a masterful concoction of gorgeous, impressionistic music. Reinhardt's accordion adds depth to the chordal structure of several pieces, while McCandless delivers magnificent improvisations with his oboe, English horn, and soprano saxophone.
The musical atmosphere of Language is quite similar to that of Oregon's finest recordings, placing this disc in that group's hard to define genre of its own combining jazz, folk, new age, and classical elements. Johnson's guitar work is remarkable throughout. This is a highly recommended recording.
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