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Good People In Times of Evil

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Album Review

Of the many stunningly beautiful albums recorded by bassist Jonas Hellborg, this is perhaps the most consistently lovely. Technically, this is a trio album — Hellborg is joined by guitar wizard Shawn Lane and Indian percussionist V. Selvaganesh — and although Hellborg will inevitably be cast as the leader in a setting like this (he's the only one of the three with composition credits on all tunes), there is an admirable equality of presence between the three. Lane is a truly awe-inspiring guitarist, a man who can seemingly play anything that enters his head, and yet who shows remarkable restraint most of the time; Selvaganesh is one of those rare percussionists who manages to blend into the general atmosphere, spinning out virtuoso polyrhythmic passages almost nonstop and yet rarely drawing attention to himself. The overall feel of this album is energetic yet relaxed; there is little or nothing in the way of tonally or texturing forbidding music, and yet all of it is beautiful in a way that challenges the ear. Particular highlights include the lyrical "Aga of the Ladies" and "Bhakti Ras," which was recorded live and features a guest appearance by sarangi player Ustad Sultan Khan. Very highly recommended.

Biography

Born: 1958 in Gothenburg, Sweden

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A wild improviser, bassist Jonas Hellborg leans more toward rock than jazz. Drawing inspiration from Jimi Hendrix, Arabic music, and Lifetime, Hellborg began playing professionally in the mid-'80s. After some session work (including Pil's Album, Ginger Baker's Middle Passage, and sessions with John McLaughlin's new Mahavishnu Orchestra), he released The Word on Axiom in 1991. The album features Hellborg's acoustic bass, drums, and a string quartet....
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Good People In Times of Evil, Jonas Hellborg
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