10 Songs, 43 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

KathyPiano7 ,

From MainlyPiano

"Lilac Skies" is the fourth album from award-winning composer/guitarist Shambhu, and what an incredibly good album it is! Something of a hybrid of new age and jazz genres, the overall vibe of the ten original tracks is relaxed and upbeat. The title itself means “infinite love” - “Lilac” is the color of love and “Skies” are the infinite and endless possibilities. Shambhu sums it up well in this quote: “This music is dedicated to lifting us up inside. Relax, groove, dance, enjoy and love.” Eight of the ten pieces were recorded at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA and two were recorded at Todd Boston’s Magic Cottage Studios in Marin County, CA; Boston also mixed the album. Shambhu performs on guitars, e-keyboards and e-bass, and the ensemble musicians include Frank Martin (keyboards), Celso Alberti (drums and percussion), Kai Eckhardt (bass), Premik Russell Tubbs (flute, EWI and lap steel guitar), Kristin Hoffmann (voice) and Alec Hamilton (e-keyboards). I have thoroughly enjoyed all three of Shambhu’s previous releases: "Sacred Love" (2010), "Dreaming of Now" (2013), and "Soothe" (2017), but this one seems to have a special magic that I can’t quite identify. I’ve listened to it four or five times now, and just can’t get enough!

"Lilac Skies" begins with the title track, a piece Shambhu composed when he was 19. Smooth and easy-going with a gentle but infectious groove, you just know from the first moments of the piece that the album is going to be exceptional. “Unspoken Words” is an acoustic guitar solo that communicates directly from heart to heart - absolutely gorgeous! “Dochas” is Irish for “hope,” and that piece has a Celtic flavor and a quietly swaying rhythm. Light flute and wordless vocals enhance the beautiful melody. “Pondering When” is the second acoustic guitar solo, and it’s both hypnotic and very soothing. The rhythm feels much like the slow ebb and flow of the tide on a peaceful seashore. “Open Your Heart Sky” quietly suggests the gentle movement of a romantic slow dance under a starlit sky. This one has some beautiful organ and piano passages that blend seamlessly with the guitars and percussion. Love it! “Dream Walk” makes me think of walking on a cloud, soaking up some sunshine and feeling like it’s the best day ever. “Basis of It All” was also composed when Shambhu was 19. It begins with a solo guitar intro before the beat picks up and other musicians join in for an upbeat and easy-going bit of musical fun. At a little over 7 1/2 minutes, “Inspired by the Night” is the longest piece on the album. Tranquility (with a pulse) set to music, this piece could have been inspired by dark, quiet late-night streets or the movement of water reflecting moonlight. It’s a beauty! It also features some really nice piano!

Expect to hear a lot of very well-deserved kudos for Shambhu and "Lilac Skies." Very highly recommended!

CandiceMichelle1 ,

From Aural Awakenings

Well-known among both jazz and new age music circles, acclaimed guitarist Shambhu amps up the pizazz on his latest album, Lilac Skies, which features some bluesier electric guitar licks alongside soothing acoustic ensemble arrangements. Playing lead guitar as well as bass and keyboards, Shambhu is joined throughout by a handful of guest musicians, who variably lend additional bass, drums, percussion, organ, keyboards, EWI, flute, lap pedal, steel guitar, and even vocals on one track. Melodically engaging and lively, yet perfectly suitable for relaxing and unwinding to, Lilac Skies beautifully conveys the blossoming colors and fragrances of the warmer seasons. Sure to be a summer favorite, the album will appeal to many lovers of both smooth jazz and contemporary instrumental music!

R J Lannan ,

Lilac Skies

Shambhu
Lilac Skies

Takes a goodly portion of jazz, add a little R & B, include a modicum of contemporary music, shake it up a bit and chill slightly and you end up with an amazing upbeat album by talented guitarist and composer Shambhu and his friends. It is called Lilac Skies. What gives the eye and the heart more pleasure than a lavender sky to start a day? Lilac skies at night perhaps. In either case, the fourth release by this jazz style guitarist is ten tracks of mellow music guaranteed to uplift, soothe, and entertain all. Joining Shambhu on the album are Kai Eckhardt on bass, Frank Martin on keyboards, Celso Alberti on percussion, the ubiquitous Premik Russell Tubbs on flute and sax, Alec Hamilton on the Hammond organ, and Kristin Hoffmann on background vocals. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
When dawn decides to grace the land, the combination of light and clouds makes for a marvelous display. Those lavender hues seem to please the soul like no other. Shambhu transforms those colors into musical notes with the same magic ability. The recording opens with the title tune Lilac Skies as a musical icebreaker so to speak. The animated tone of the album is well expressed in this first piece and it not only promises a blissful journey, but also delivers.
Next Shambhu features his unique fretwork on a melodic ballad called Unspoken Words. These are not utterances left unsaid, but words expressed in a language understood by soft smiles, bright eyes, and inspired hearts. This is a truly beautiful guitar piece with a languorous flow and mellifluous refrain. Dynamic guitar riffs and ornate piano counterpoise in the tune Blue Whispers. There’s something dark and steamy about this one. There is subliminal heat and heavy emotion disguised as a bluesy ballad like a Robin Ford song. This is one of the best of the best on Lilac Skies. Open Your Heart Sky is a sophisticated song with a lot of sentiment. It is one of those that easily becomes an anthem for the cause with its strong compositional elements, jazzy electric guitar, and complemental Hammond organ trimmings. Percussion and deep bass add the extras that pull it together into a unified theme. This is an invitation to soar, to live, and to breathe. You might as well surrender.
There are some terrific piano riffs in Inspired by the Night and Seeing You Again. Together, they are probably the most complex tunes on the album, but individually, they are like night and day. Inspired by the Night has some groovin’ bass licks by Eckhardt that drive the song forward. Your nocturnal encounter consists of a black, bountiful blanket of stars, some warm breezes, and don’t forget the most important component of all, thou. Seeing You Again is the final cut on Lilac Skies and presents a warm and quite fond farewell. It is celebration of sound with no regrets. The listener has partaken of the joyful menu and ends up a satisfied customer.
I liked every track for its diversity, yet its loyalty to the main theme, that of unwavering joy. Shambhu has done a brilliant job of not only offering up the music to keep your mood in a positive vibe, but also bringing together just the right talents to make it happen. Highly recommended - R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews

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