The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - John McBeath

For­bear­ance Carl Orr In­de­pen­dent Ex­pat Aus­tralian gui­tarist/com­poser Carl Orr has been Lon­don-based since the 1990s. There he has ap­peared with some im­pres­sive names in­clud­ing Billy Cob­ham, Randy Brecker and Ernie Watts. Orr has been an ex­po­nent of jazz fu­sion us­ing heavy gui­tar dis­tor­tion but this, his eighth al­bum, is a soft and melodic world away. The gui­tarist speaks of this mu­sic as his con­tri­bu­tion to­wards cre­at­ing a peace­ful, har­mo­nious world. His acous­tic gui­tar is beau­ti­fully recorded in this Lon­don pro­duc­tion, with a host of side­men across 11 tracks, nine of which are orig­i­nals. The open­ing ti­tle track is a per­fect in­tro­duc­tion, with Orr’s solo clas­si­cal gui­tar and added glock­en­spiel de­liv­er­ing a semi­clas­si­cal piece of deeply calm­ing am­bi­ence, beau­ti­fully played. Amer­i­can Day­dream con­tin­ues the tran­quil mood, ad­ding rhythm via pi­ano, or­gan, bass, drums and per­cus­sion, while the largest en­sem­ble (13 mem­bers, in­clud­ing vo­cal­ist Jas­mine Nel­son plus strings, brass and reeds) un­der­takes Len­non-McCart­ney’s Mother Na­ture’s Son in a qui­etly re­strained ren­di­tion. Though lyric-less, the ti­tle Peo­ple Need Health­care, Not Guns con­veys Orr’s so­cial con­science. As with many of these pieces, Iron­bridge, with gui­tar and string quar­tet, has a folk feel con­veyed in a softly melodic way. This unas­sum­ing and peace­ful col­lec­tion goes a long way to­wards achiev­ing Orr’s stated aim to make the lis­tener calm, op­ti­mistic and in­vig­o­rated. Though it uses some jazz fea­tures, the al­bum is re­ally more of a sooth­ing, mood-in­spired port­fo­lio of qui­es­cent clas­si­cal/folk.

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