Title - Rise
Artist - Lawson Rollins
With the release of Rise (releasing September 17th, 2021, via Infinita Records), Lawson Rollins offers a bold collection of ten original songs that showcase his signature virtuoso guitar style and eclectic compositional flair for melody and rhythm.
Lawson explores new collaborations with Haitian vocalist Jeff Pierre, saxophonist Mary Fettig, and Grammy winning violinists Charlie Bisharat and Mads Tolling on several tracks, while deepening his connection with regular band mates Stephen Duros, Davo Bryant, and Dan Feiszli throughout the album.
Each song finds Lawson rising to his peak abilities as a guitarist and composer. Lawson states, This album was forged during the unprecedented difficulties the world has seen over the past year, but as the Latin motto Ad Astra Per Aspera proclaims, we can reach the stars through difficulty. It is in that spirit that this album was made.
1. Free To Fly (4:58)
2. Rise (6:11)
3. Bossa Nova California (3:41)
4. Ascension (4:41)
5. Escalate (6:42)
6. Pulse (3:34)
7. Carry The Torch (4:13)
8. Quest (5:01)
9. Come To Light (4:50)
10. Emerge (4:27)
This simply magical new album opens on the gentle funk ambiance of Free To Fly and then the summers breeze of the title track itself Rise, before moving seamlessly into the pleasing hipsway of Bossa Nova California, and then brings us back-to-back bouts of Eastern promise within Ascension and the gently frenetic Escalate.
In truth, I have been listening to Lawson Rollins ever since his initial collaborations with Dan Young and thus he rates as one of the top acoustic masters today, for my money.
He oh-so easily drifts between pure Latin and into the fluid realms of smooth jazz, perhaps none more so than with the foot-tapping melodies of Pulse and the atmospherically fervent Carry The Torch which is in turn followed by the Eastern-imbibed Quest, with the album rounding out (albeit too soon, in my humble opinion) on the upbeat Latin vibe of Come To Light, closing on the earnestly free-flowing Emerge.
Few artists inhabit their music as seamlessly as multiple award-winning, Billboard Top 10 ranked guitarist and composer Lawson Rollins.
He plays his instrument with a soulful intensity that combines the stimulating rhythmic drive of rumba, salsa, and samba with graceful melodic finesse and free-flowing improvisational flair.
Indeed, the key to Rollins’ mass appeal is his signature artistic balance between classically influenced compositional refinement, infectious exotic rhythms, and the unbridled intensity of full-on shred.
Over the past 20 years, Lawson’s 10 solo albums and 4 albums with his prior group Young & Rollins have landed in the Billboard Top 10 World Music Chart and spawned several Billboard Top 30 contemporary jazz hits, winning him an ever growing fan base attracted by his melodic, exhilarating solos and exotic, cross-genre instrumentation performed by internationally renowned musicians.
Lawson’s critically acclaimed, award-winning, genre defying solo albums - INFINITA, ESPIRITO, ELEVATION, FULL CIRCLE, TRAVELER, INFINITE CHILL, 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT, AIRWAVES: THE GREATEST HITS, DARK MATTER: MUSIC FOR FILM and TRUE NORTH - landed high on the contemporary jazz radio charts and produced a Billboard #1 song - Moonlight Samba from ESPIRITO.
For two consecutive years, he earned a 1st Place award in the prestigious USA Songwriting Competition. He also won three Gold Medals in the Global Music Awards for Instrumentalist, Album, and Top 10 Albums of the Year for his TRAVELER album.
In his globally-inspired music, Lawson incorporates the propulsive drive of Afro-Cuban rhythms with a style based on the music of Spain, India, Persia and the Arab world. All music has a hybrid quality, Lawson believes. Thousands of years of travel, trade and communication between cultures created new forms of musical expression. The Spanish guitar embodies this with its ties to the Arab oud, the Persian tar, even the sitar, so weaving those strands together seems natural to me.
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