Sam Newsome

Global Unity

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Sam Newsome moved to the indie label Palmetto for the second installment of his Global Unity project. Utilizing a larger cast of musicians and a wider variety of instruments, he vacillates between the edgy sound of his previous record and something a good deal more soft and palatable. Marvin Sewell's acoustic guitar strumming on "When You See the Light," "The Sucker's Game," and "When You Hide From Me" results in an almost poppy feel; pianist Jean-Michel Pilc's three appearances have a similar effect. On the flip side, "Dance of the Deli Lama" and "Into-Nation of Islam," in bracing 10/8 and 11/8 meters respectively, recall the stripped-down aesthetic of the first Global Unity album. Newsome may be going through a transitional stage here, as he tries to infuse his percussive concept with new layers of melodic content. "The Wedding March of a Playboy," a superior example of songcraft, suggests that he's on to something.

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