NAXOS World Music
3. Ancient Shadows
5. Hangzhou Blues
6. Vincent's Tune
7. Crescent Moon Over The Mountain
8. Ambushed Again
9. Full Circle
10. From A Distance
11. Bonus Track
Man Wu (pipa), Abel Domingues (guitar), Stuart Dempster (percussion), DJ Tamara (turntables), Vincent Wang (vocals), Abel Domingues (banjo), Stuart Dempster (didjeridu), Abel Domingues (samples), Stuart Dempster (ocarina)
Wu Man is to the pipa, the Chinese lute-like instrument, what Robert Fripp is to the guitar. There are no limits, there is only walking out into the garden to greet the future. The music here is ecstatically inspired and while the Cd begins and closes with sublime traditional tones, what happens in between is the stuff of dreams, of wonder, of giving oneself over to Music so that Music may take you into its confidence.
Not since King Crimson's "Discipline" have I been so thoroughly amazed and inspired by a sustained effort throughout an entire CD. This is not to say that Wu Man is replicating Fripp's Bartok meets Hendrix in style, but certainly in spirit.The opening "Invocation" is as quietly spiritual a piece as you are likely to hear. A bit like Fripp's Soundscapes before the roar of Crimson. "Dancing" is almost Beatle-like and absolutely inspiring. All through I kept expecting to hear McCartney, Lennon and Harrison chime in, and if you're sitting all through this number, you have serious enjoyment issues. "Ancient Spirit" and "Walking to the East" begin an hypnotic, polyrhythmic journey into another culture. Surely Wu Man's participation in Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble has given her a sense of adventure, and this sublimely sets the tone for the adventurous and blistering "Shanghai Blues", and here is where Fripp meets his match. The intensity of Wu Man's electric pipa is scorchingly awe-inspiring. This is as brilliant a display of electric blues as Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile, Slight Return." Stevie Ray, Jimi, and the remarkable Fripp would all pay homage to such protean fretwork. And it has a deep blues groove that is just fantastic. If you have ever seen Wu Man in concert, you know this girl can cook, and cook she does!