C Lanzbom

Desert Rock Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


So how far behind am I here at the Pierce Memorial Archives? Sometimes I come across a disc with a note, "Per our discussion"... and I don't even remember what we discussed. (Yeah, like that claim will fly in front of the House Subcommittee.) This was the case with Mediations from guitarist C Lanzbom. But one listen to this disc and I knew that I had to have had a good reason to have wanted this disc, because it's incredible.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Mixing the gentle reflective nature of new age (not that pseudo-jazz mess that became popular in the '80s) with the occasional hint of Jewish folk music in the mix. Meditations is a wonderfully charming CD that will please fans of well-written, well-performed guitar music.

Normally, such a collection of music would stand on its own without any additional instrumentation. In this album's case, including bassist Darren Solomon, harpist Park Stickney, violinist Miri Ben-Ari, flutist Darius Kaufmann and drummer Mark Ambrosino actually helps to build the sonic sculpture that these 12 songs create.

Lanzbom proves to be a stellar guitarist, more interested in creating a rich melody than impressing the listener with flashy acoustic solos. Admittedly, he does give himself some room to step from the melody on these songs, but he never becomes gaudy in his performances. Two words: nice touch.

Tracks like "We Can Begin" and "Song For Cindy" set a mood that carries the listener through gently, allowing them to be enveloped by the music. In a similar vein, tracks like "Ode Yishoma" and "Mizmor L'David" revel in their roots of Judaic folk without ever making anyone feel like they're outsiders to this music. I am not Jewish, yet I could feel the joy this music poured forth through Lanzbom's performances.

Some people might look at this disc and be scared away by foreign-looking titles. Relax; Mediataions is simply an album of soothing guitar music that reaches out to all people and offers them an hour-long break from the real world. It might be taking a leap of faith for some people, but they will quickly hear that they have indeed landed on their feet.

Lanzbom is a talented musician whose skills on the guitar suggest he is one of the instrument's unheralded players. Meditations is proof of that, and is more than worthy of your time. If this disc provides a vacation from reality, book me out for two weeks.

Rating: A-

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© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Desert Rock Records, and is used for informational purposes only.