Solo guitarist Jim Stubblefield has gathered his many talents, added his love of fantasy, collected a group of like-minded musicians and created a wonderful voyage of musical styles which range across a broad spectrum, each piece holding its own originality but complementing the entirety.
As always with Stubblefields’ works the music has a flair and verve that is all encompassing, combining many ‘flavours’ to be found throughout what could be easily referred to as world music, as the tempos take a little from here, a lot from there and a dash of something else from some other place.
All things mystical and based in fantasy are the underlying basis for this album with enjoyment to be found in many ways. Each of the pieces, beginning with the very gentle Saint-Tropez softly lulls you into the mood to simply enjoy what is to come. The piece based in the ambience that is the French Riviera, draws inspiration from the glorious relaxed mood of simple pleasure and enjoyment.
Azure changes the pace entirely as Novi Novog takes centre stage with his violin: the addition of guitars and a touch of synth make this almost an otherworldly piece, which is definitely a different style for Stubblefield. It certainly invokes the fantasy and mystery to be discovered on any voyage through life!
In Café Café he and Eric Hansen share the solo roles in this rhumba influenced piece adding a wonderful touch of colour and flamboyance to the work. A little further along there is the wonderfully tempestuous Oculus Tempestatis . The wordless vocals of Moksha Sommer combined with Stubblefield on electric guitar and Stephen Duros on acoustic guitar to create that deep mysteriousness that enhances a campfire at night, a dancer moving ever faster and faster, a storm brewing on the horizon, the elements and emotions building to reach the ultimate, explosive, peak descending into the aftermath of calm.
After the emotion of the previous pieces the lovely Sueno Pacifico creates a delightfully light finish to what is a varied, up-tempo album filled with mystique, change, style and panache.
Stubblefield set out to create an album of difference and in Guitare Mystique he has truly succeeded.