CD Review: SONGS OF THE VOLCANO (Bob Brozman and Papua New Guinea Stringbands) - THE GUARDIAN UK, 4-Nov-05
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SONGS OF THE VOLCANO (Bob Brozman and Papua New Guinea Stringbands)

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SONGS OF THE VOLCANO

CD Review: SONGS OF THE VOLCANO

THE GUARDIAN (UK)
4 November 2005

Papua New Guinea Stringbands
with Bob Brozman: Songs of the Volcano
(4 Stars)


By ROBIN DENSELOW


Don’t be put off by the title. Obscure though it may sound, this is another musical adventure in the wildly colourful life of the American guitarist Bob Brozman, a man who has taken his philosophy of ‘have guitar, will travel’ to extraordinary lengths. Following his intriguing collaborations with musicians in Japan, India and some Indian Ocean islands, Brozman has been in Papua New Guinea to work with local bands around the town of Rabaul, largely destroyed by a volcano in the mid-1990s. The music developed from the sailors who arrived here bringing guitars and ukuleles, and it is exuberant, easygoing and remarkably accessible. Much of it sounds like simple, sturdy gospel or folk-blues, with a dash of Hawaii thrown in, but with an exotic eastern edge, thanks to the vocal choruses. Brozman doesn’t try to create new fusion, as he did with the Indian guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya, but simply joins in, adding the occasional virtuoso solo. This is a no-nonsense, charming album, and it comes with a DVD documentary about Brozman, the volcano and the project.

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