Brought to you by TQMP
The Quality Music Project
An exact CD copy. Artwork included.
Justin Adams has a fascination with the space of the desert, and on his solo debut, he recreates the feel, openness, and rhythms of the Western Sahara, where it bleeds into Mali, Morocco, and Mauritania. A proponent of the less-is-more school of playing, he inhabits a place where North African, West African, and blues music intertwine and notes bend, hang, and ultimately mix with a late 20th century recording studio, where samples and beats co-exist. The percussion, from longtime collaborator Salah Dawson Miller, fleshes out the bones. Although Adams is very much a player's player, he lets the rawness of style show through, never flashy, always to the point, whether plucking lead lines or fingerpicking, letting his left hand dictate the melodies and rhythms. The overall effect is soothingly hypnotic, as mesmerizing as shifting waves of desert sand. It's beautiful, often eerily bluesy (a nod to Blind Willie Johnson, one of his idols), and evokes the mystery of one of the earth's last great places. A tiny masterpiece.