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The Journey Continues
By Sundad
Label: Sundad Records
Released 6/2/2008
The Journey Continues tracks
1. The Veil  
2. Out of Body  
3. Chet's Favorite  
4. The Conquistador  
5. East Meets West  
6. The Midnight Express  
7. Moonlight in Manhattan  
8. Somewhat Celtic  
9. Dancing in the Park  
10. Were You There  
The Journey Continues
The trio known as Sundad (father-son team John Eurell, Sr. and John, Jr. and Chet Soares) serve up some tasty (and sometimes quite spicy) acoustic world/jazz fusion music on their second release, The Journey Continues (follow-up to the well-received Journey to Eternity). Both of the Eurells play acoustic guitar and Soares contributes on assorted percussion and their chemistry and sense of simpatico is evident throughout the recording. The Journey Continues is a true ensemble recording with no one person left behind in the shadows as all the players get a chance to shine, displaying both their musical technique from a technical standpoint as well as demonstrating ample artistic flair. Like all good world fusion music, one may catch a whiff now and then of direct influence, e.g. Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, etc. Spanish, but the music itself represents a true hybrid, a melting pot if you will, of assorted styles and flavors so that it all merges into a pleasing cross-cultural/genre-smash. Overall, the CD is definitely uptempo so if you’re on the lookout for something in a more relaxed vein, (something more new age in nature), this ain’t it, as far as I’m concerned. The artists themselves list Strunz and Farah as being similar and I would add Shahin and Sepehr to that list as well.

During the opening strains of Out of Body I hear echoes of early Shadowfax, featuring a myriad of percussion and drums underneath subdued yet fiery lead guitar backed by solid rhythm guitar accompaniment. Soloing on the track may also evoke Pat Metheny to some degree. The exotic hand drums pounding out a passionate freneticism on The Veil might bring to mind The Winter Consort, whereas Spanish lace meets desert hues on Chet’s Favorite (this track is a virtual showcase for one of the Eurells, although I can't say which one is spinning out notes with alarming speed and dexterity). One would expect some heavy nuevo flamenco shadings on The Conquistador and it’s there for sure, but the song also holds a palpable air of mystery and shadow, too. The heat and passion get turned up on East Meets West a revved-up assault that kicks ass and takes names with Soares contributing on hand percussion and joined by guest accompanist Abe Speller who pounds out some nifty rhythms on trap kit drums. The Midnight Express flits into view at a breakneck pace painting a musical portrait of a train flying down the tracks (the rapid and syncopated percussion at the song’s onset further aids in the mental image). Things do quiet down on the romantic Moonlight in Manhattan a track that might come across as Craig Chaquico's quieter side crossed with the aforementioned Shahin and Sepehr.

Regardless of how one categorizes Sundad>/b>'s music and The Journey Continues, it's evident these guys know how to play. With its jazz riffs, world beat spice, mixture of earthy/sensual and kinetic energizing rhythms, as well as enough guitar fireworks to fulfill any lover of the instrument, the trio’s latest release is almost certain to please acoustic instrumental music fans who seek an alum which engages the listener's body and mind. Kick up your feet, tap your toes, drum your fingers or just sit if that's your preference, but the main thing to do is put this album in your CD player and enjoy what comes next. That doesn’t sound too hard, does it?
Rating: Very Good   Very Good
- reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 6/29/2008
 
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