It is so good to see a new album from Russ Hewitt hit my desk, it’s been some 6 years since his last endeavour with the release Cielo Nocturno, but now he’s back with a sparkling new compilation of great new songs entitled Chasing Horizons, and my day is looking more sun kissed and harmonious by the moment because of it.
The first footfalls of this new offering has the title Allende, a wonderfully smooth Latin feel can be found on this opening piece, a colourful and rhythmic starting point for an artist, who must be one of the finest acoustic guitarists around in this style today.
Chasing Horizons is our illustrious title track and one that features the talents also, of non-other than Nuno Bettencourt on guitar, this combination is simply undeniable and would not be the only piece where a former rock musician flows into the welcome arms of the Flamenco style.
That aforementioned comment now becomes even more relevant as former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman now joins Hewitt on this next flavour filled musical narrative entitled Vivir Libre, the textures of both guitars here flow like a mountain stream in early spring, simply idyllic.
Something special now walks these halls of musical majesty, and it is Amor Perdido (feat. Bucharest All-Star Orchestra) a wonderful mood is set here; the strings of the orchestra add such a calming layered feel to the composition, whilst the rhythmic percussion and the masterful Hewitt, produce one of the finest arrangements from the artist, perhaps of all time.
Luminous is one of those tracks that has a magical energy about its construction, I am lucky enough to live on the Mediterranean and this is exactly the sort of composition that would be a delight to drift along to in my pool, as the sun goes down and sister moon rises high in the sky, a warm and an incredibly comforting piece indeed.
It’s time for a Sunset Samba (feat. Jorge Strunz) this would be one of my personal favourites from the album, it’s chilled almost jazzy vibe made it for me, one of the most versatile and picturesque tracks on the release with ease, one that would fit many moods and occasions as well.
Luna has an almost double edge to its construction; there is a dark and moody performance here that is also underpinned by a fluent and smooth performance by the artist, this is also a track that has an almost sultry side to its persona, making it for me one of the most crafted pieces off the release.
It’s now time to take a visit to the Cubalia Café, now here is a track that has all the hallmarks of a great single, passion filled, rhythmic and redolent of a Santana fuelled moment of musical majesty, it has a melody that is utterly addictive and a hook line that screams repeat play! The added instrumental guitar genius of Ardeshir Farah is weaved into the story of this piece too, which makes this composition one of the standout pieces off the release.
A more gentle refrain can be found here on our penultimate offering entitled Serein, again another favourite of mine, the performance was so delightfully laid back, but it gave one a sublime sense of tranquillity and calm, and that in today’s crazy world, cannot be a bad thing at all.
The final offering contains the breath taking work of Tri Nguyen on Vietnamese Zither and called Return to Simitai, one must applaud Hewitt here for producing one of the most remarkable and original tracks with which to conclude the album with, this last arrangement has a blissful reflective energy and a track that simply leaves you wanting more at its conclusion.
It may well have been 6 years, but it was certainly worth the wait. Chasing Horizons by Russ Hewitt is a splendid body of work containing a vast array of musicians and skill sets within its hallowed halls. This is the kind of album that every passionate music lover of extremely good taste, must at all costs have in their collections. Chasing Horizons by Russ Hewitt is an acoustic guitar based release that will fulfil all expectations and leave you fully satisfied at its conclusion, a must have album indeed.