2048-4-P The Golden Wire
Produced by Andy Summers and David Hentschel
Released on 1989
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
2048-4-P cover  

W ide swatches of velvet cut with golden wire, draped over percolating keyboard patterns and thin wisps of cirrus cloud, these songs are the equivalent of musical haikus, several images resonating in a single picture. Andy Summers is not a flashy guitarist by design; even his solos are broken into short bursts, like a child taking tiny bites from a fearsome bit of broccoli. Collaborating with keyboardist David Hentschel, Summers is free to comment on the action and tweak the direction accordingly, not unlike an introspective and moody version of Jean-Luc Ponty. But where Ponty was apt to develop a style and stick with it, Summers draws from a wider range of influences, using his signature sound to delve deeper into new age jazz, instrumental guitar rock, ambient Fripp-ery and even world music. It’s on these last two destinations that The Golden Wire hits home; as soothing as the new age jazz moments are, it’s the succession of “Journey Through Blue Regions” and “Piya Tose” that stay with me. The former starts with an ambient bed of glittering pebbles in a shallow stream (a la Eno) and places what seems like a slowed-down Kashmir on top of it; the latter features Indian singer Najma Akhtar and is easily the album’s highlight. Both mix the mystery and energy of world music with Western studio sophistication, suggesting that Summers has a very good Peter Gabriel album up his sleeve somewhere. Ultimately, it’s the quality of the compositions that win the day; Summers prefers finely crafting textures and moods to tripping over the fretboard with his fingers (and in his sleepy world, even the solos are inarticulate). Having been burned by “solo” guitar albums in the past, I was shocked to find The Golden Wire sounded this cool. If your tastes lean toward new age/world music, this might be the Summers album you spring for.

2048-4-P inner booklet
2048-4-P inner booklet

TRACK LISTING

  1. A PIECE OF TIME    6:35
  2. THE GOLDEN WIRE    5:52
  3. EARTHLY PLEASURES    6:29
  4. IMAGINE YOU    2:37
  5. VIGANGO    6:10
  6. BLUES FOR SNAKE    4:57
  7. THE ISLAND OF SILK    (Andy Summers/David Hentschel)    5:09
  8. JOURNEY THROUGH BLUE REGIONS    2:10
  9. PIYA TOSE    (copyright control)    4:36
  10. RAIN FOREST IN MANHATTAN    5:53
  11. A THOUSAND STONES    4:18

    All compositions written by Andy Summers unless noted

CREDITS

ANDY SUMMERS -- electric and acoustic guitars, banjo
DAVID HENTSCHEL -- keyboards, drum programming, engineer, mixing
PAUL McCANDLESS -- oboe, soprano sax, two wooden flutes together
KURT WORTMAN -- drums and percussion, drum programming, xianjiang tambourine
Najma Akhtar -- vocal (9)
Stephen Croes -- Synclavier
Jimmy Haslip -- bass
Doug Lunn -- bass
Dennis Smith -- technical assistance and loop recording
Glen Erler -- photography
Norman Moore -- art direction & design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1989 Private Music CD/CS 2048 picture sleeve

 

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