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Gurutopia / Shez Raja

Shez Raja - Gurutopia

Dot Time

With "Gurutopia", Guitarist Shez Raja picks up from where he left off from his previous live release. He continues to expand on his own brand of fusion by incorporating Middle Eastern rhythms with funk and jazz with impressive results. Raja once again surrounds himself with an array of all star musicians like veteran Guitarist Mike Stern and Trumpeter Randy Brecker. Not to leave out his core band who are more than capable of holding their own. Violinist Pascal Roggen dynamic phrasings on "Maharaja" drives this tune to greater heights. Brecker's feathery phrasings and superb soloing shines through on "Sketches Of Space". Stern's improvised playing stands out on the spirited opener "Rabbits". Raja's dynamic playing is the driving force throughout and flashes of brilliance can be heard, specifically on the aptly titled "Rocknrolla". The diversity of rhythms and superb performances make for a compelling recording..

Reg Dancy, 03/16