A fusion group from Turkmenistan, the Gunesh Ensemble was led by energetic virtuoso drummer Rishard Shafi. Fusing together jazz instrumentation with rock, Middle-Eastern chants and instruments, and a Vietnamese singer, the group released their first album, Gunesh, in 1980, followed by Looking at the Earth in 1984. Both albums were combined for the 2000 re-release Rishard Shafi Presents Gunesh. That same year, Shafi released 45° Centigrade in a Shadow: Shafi Plays with Gunesh, which moved slightly away from the ethnic influences on the first two albums and was made up of various recordings by Shafi and assorted musicians from 1985 to 1990.
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