Davide Ravasio

Desert Shaman

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There's a remarkable sense of movement about the music in Desert Shaman. "Muezzin" might not actually evoke the callers at the mosque, but it still seems like a journey -- although not as much as "Dunes," which manages to travel from North to South Africa -- via a Celtic whistle detour -- quite smoothly over the course of six minutes. However, considering it's the shortest track on this record, it's a necessity that the pieces develop -- "Hunter's Heart," for example, proves particularly satisfying in that regard, with its smooth transitions between sections that seem logical and unforced. The sensual "Desert Pray" truly evokes the long journey of the caravans to the sensual sound of the ney, while "Camel"'s slow, loping sound brings to mind the animal. So even if the disc as a whole isn't suffused with the desert, it's definitely there in parts, and an object lesson in how to build a good record. Davide Ravasio -- who plays at least eight instruments here, including some sexy sax work on "Desert Flower," is a man who has a deep understanding about music, and obvious love of it -- and the adventures that can come by exploring it.

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