On INFINITA, guitarist and composer Lawson Rollins offers 11 tracks of richly-textured, internationally-inspired original music supported by an ensemble of some of the most accomplished and internationally recognized musicians in their fields. Throughout Infinita, Rollins melds an eclectic mix of Latin and Middle Eastern musical influences with his virtuoso, Spanish-tinged guitar style, creating a lush musical tapestry that pushes the boundaries of world music.
Infinita features the legendary Brazilian singer Flora Purim andpercussion superstar Airto Moreira, as well as Persian-American producer and musician Shahin Shahida of the Billboard chart-topping group Shahin & Sepehr, multi-platinum-selling producer Dominic Camardella (Ottmar Liebert, Flora Purim), Grammy winning violinist Charlie Bisharat, Azerbaijani folk instrument virtuoso Imamyar Hassanov, Afghan vocal and harmonium master Humayun Khan, percussionist and drummer Dave Bryant of the Ottmar Liebert band, veteran trumpet player Jeff Elliot (Aretha Franklin, Doc Severinson band), bassist Randy Tico (Strunz & Farah, Flora Purim), and Pejman Hadadi, the world-renowned master of the Persian 'tombak' drum.
About the making of "Infinita"
At the outset of Infinita's creation, Rollins invited friend and fellow musician Shahin Shahida of the renowned group Shahin & Sepehr to co-produce the album and bring to the project his experience fusing Persian and Indian instruments with contemporary "world beat" sounds. In his previous work with the Young & Rollins band, Rollins drew heavily from salsa, Latin jazz, bossa nova, and rumba rhythms and styles. With Shahida on board, Rollins brings into the mix more prominent references to Persian, Arabic, and Indian music styles."There is a profound cross-cultural connection in the ancestry of the modern Spanish guitar to earlier instruments like the Arabic oud, the Persian tar and even the Indian sitar," says Rollins. "Bringing these styles together is like returning to the roots of the guitar," Shahida adds, "These instruments share a natural and beautiful bond."
Rollins and Shahida partnered with Dominic Camardella, a producer and pianist associated with several multi-platinum selling albums. Camardella personally engineered the recording in his Santa Barbara Sound Design recording studio and contributed sophisticated, soulful piano and keyboard performances throughout the album. Rollins has allowed Infinita to evolve organically, with each musician contributing heartfelt performances to the collective undertaking. "He has been very empowering and gracious to all the musicians involved", says Camardella. "I had a vision of what I wanted from the beginning," Rollins adds, "but over time, and through the contributions from my guest artists, the project took on a life of its own".
Infinita features a diverse cast of accomplished musicians, including the Azerbaijani kamanche virtuoso Imamyar Hassanov and the Afghan vocalist Humayun Khan. Violinist Charlie Bisharat, bassist Randy Tico, and one of the world's leading Persian percussionists and masters of the tombak drum, Pejman Hadadi, are all members of Grammy winning projects. Trumpeter Jeff Elliot, who has recorded and toured with such legends as Aretha Franklin, Charlie Haden, and the Doc Severinson Band, adds his touches to "Cafe´ Jobim" and contributes a joyous horn section arrangement to "Through the Night". Drums and percussion on all tracks are masterfully performed by Dave Bryant, who has also performed on several Grammy-nominated and platinum albums.
Guest vocals are provided by the iconic Brazilian singer Flora Purim along with her husband, the legendary percussionist Airto Moreira. They have recorded and performed for over four decades with the likes of Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Return to Forever, Carlos Santana, and Chick Corea. Joined by their daughter, Diana Booker, they craft an infectious series of vocal improvisations and chorus effects on the composition "Cafe´ Jobim" and the title track, "Infinita", which also features sinuous improvisations from tenor saxophonist Justin Claveria and a stirring Rhodes piano performance from Dominic Camardella.
The improvisational panache of Grammy winning violinist Charlie Bisharat can be heard weaving throughout tracks like "Echoes of Madrid", "The Awakening," and "In Motion". In a tour de force performance on "Ceremony", Imamyar Hassanov contributes his haunting kamanche playing. The kamanche - a kind of Persian fiddle - is also used with great effect on the entrancing composition "The Awakening", during which an ongoing duet occurs with Bisharat's violin. The Khayal and Sufi vocal master and harmonium player Humayun Khan was moved to improvise on a number of tracks, including the hypnotic "New World Raga", a contemporary twist on the "raga" form in northern Indian classical music. Additionally, on the evocative composition, "Streets of San Miguel", a refined trumpet performance is provided by Thomas McColl, first-chair member of the Erzgebirgische Philharmonie in Germany.
Infinita extends beyond genre lines and showcases a diverse group of musicians from all over the world joined in an artistic meeting of the hearts and minds. Weaving through this expansive soundscape is the distinctive guitar work and timeless compositional voice of Lawson Rollins. "When I first heard the title track, "Infinita", I had a feeling I haven't had for a long, long time", says Purim, "And the translation is "infinite" - the feeling never ends."
Produced by Shahin Shahida, Dominic Camardella and Lawson Rollins
Recorded, mixed and edited at Santa Barbara Sound Design by Dominic Camardella on ProTools HD at 88.2kHz sample rate and 24 bit resolution using vintage Neve mic pre-amps and rare model Neumann U87 and AKG 414EB microphones.
Additional recording at SOS Studios, V.A.
Mastered by Bernie Grundman in Los Angeles.
String section recorded in Prague, Czec