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Artist: Jason Carter
Label: incd002 (2004)
Times: 7 tracks / 40 minutes

Having done a bit of traveling, guitarist Jason Carter is ready to release his next CD, "Shamal" ("Arabic word for the wind that brings the sandstorm across the desert"). I imagine this is what actor Viggo Mortensen saw during the Great Arabian Horse Race in the 2004 film, "Hidalgo." In Carter's "Shamal," I take it to mean the impetus that moves creativity across guitar strings.

Jason Carter has an articulate style. If one is speaking of a choral CD, it means the lyrics are clear and exact. For guitar, fingers and strings work as one for a solid tone. This is what Carter does in Shamal.

Carter begins the CD with "Kruununvuori," a reference to a peaceful place in Helsinki, Finland. After a striking chord, the piece moves into a retrospective mood with interludes of lively strumming. "Shamal" has the guitarist producing a ripple effect with his music, akin to shifting sand. Imaginative fingering produces an active atmosphere with an abrupt ending, lest the listener become complacent.

"Guten Morgen Mein Engel" is the softest piece in the compilation which is dedicated to "a little angel called Iona in Germany." The lilting melody can almost be a carol or lullaby and produces a warm feeling for the listener. "Mark's Peace" was written upon the death of a friend and is a composition of mood. Harsh strumming evokes a bit of anger at the death of the friend and alternates with a pleasant melody at the memory of the friendship. This is done in flamenco-style and the piece winds down at the end as though walking away after saying "good-bye."

"Inner Child" was written after seeing children in Uzbekistan, and they must have been happy children, as the piece is warm and friendly, inviting smiles. "Sarabande and Prelude" (from J. S. Bach's "Cello Suite No. 1") is beautifully done with crisp articulation. The inter-music lines are distinguishable and woven with elegance.

"Blue Knew" ends the CD, and this is in contrast with the rest of the CD. Here is a travelin' man, on the road and glad to be up and about. Makes you want to say, "Mississippi River man, slap that guitar!" I hope Jason Carter treats that guitar with care, because it is certainly needed for more CDs like this one.

Copyright 2005 Marie Asner    1/23/05



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