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Danny Heines: What Worlds They Bring

Reading the notes about the tracks on new-age guitarist Danny Heines’ new What Worlds They Bring (Vadadisc), the song set would seem to be informed by an eclectic, global consciousness. Over the course of the album’s 13 tracks, harmless sonic pleasantries are lightly spiced using extra-American musics: folk tunes from Russia, Hungary and Tanzania are adapted; Tuvan throat singing paid tribute to; Thelonious Monk is invoked on “The Loneliest Monk” (which bears no apparent connection to Monk’s musical cant); and there’s a nod to flamenco with “Sketchy in Spain.” Really, though, Heines’ language springs out of the vague and homogenous melange of world-inspired new-age music, a language unto itself. Often reminiscent of the late Michael Hedges, Heines is a nimble guitarist who expertly wields a percussive tapping technique in addition to handy fingerwork, and who tends to hang out in modal terrain rather than using improvisation in any way related to jazz. He also layers on other instruments, including bansuri flute, percussion and throat singing, in addition to female vocal parts and a cameo from former Windham Hiller and bassist Michael Manring.

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