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Andy Summers: Earth + Sky

Still best known for his time as the guitarist for the Police, Andy Summers also has fusion in his blood. He’s just a little more upfront about it on his all-originals program, Earth and Sky (Goldenwire). Summers attracted attention-at least from jazz critics-with two recordings: 1999’s Green Chimneys: The Music of Thelonious Monk and his 2000 tribute to Charles Mingus, Peggy’s Blue Skylight. But at least on evidence of Earth and Sky, the strong personalities of those two iconic composers have left no mark on Summers.

Summers fronts a faceless band on this CD, featuring no one who steps on the guitarist’s toes. They generate a light instrumental R&B sound that accommodates occasional touches of tart funk or pastel Americana. They’re basically there to fill in around Summers’ wire-to-wire solos, which are more distinctive for the customized tone he uses for each tune than they are for their melodic or harmonic qualities. In fairness, Earth and Sky is not a bad record. It’s professionally played and well recorded, but its mostly just heady mood music.

Originally Published