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Sean Harkness: Aloft

Guitarist Sean Harkness showcases his fleet-fingered, spindly acoustic style on the meditative collection, Aloft (Windham Hill 01934-11432-2; 54:56). Harkness draws from a variety of world beat influences to shape his gently optimistic pieces, from the bittersweet Latin tones of “Siempre Conmigo” to the revolving Celtic-to-classical feel of “Wynkus McGynkus.” Whether playing all parts (acoustics and fretless bass on the stately Irish “Cuchullian’s Dream”) or gently couched in a supportive arrangement (a sparkling shared canvas with pianist Liz Story on “Aloft”), Harkness delivers rootsy, upbeat melodies. His versatility allows for both fluid, deep-toned romanticism (“Coming Home”) and sharply cornered, percussive licks (“Coconuts”)-yet Aloft resonates with a unified message of joy and freedom.

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