Imagine the fun the marketing folks at IMA Records are having with an artist named Rigo Star on their hands. "No, no, not HIM. He's from the Congo, not Liverpool!" For those who like a peppering of African spice in their smooth jazz, the good news is Star's debut Got The Feeling is more satisfying than anything Ringo's done since 1973! Unlike fellow African native Butler, this acoustic guitarist infuses skittering acoustic lines which speak powerfully about his homeland. On "Talk to Me," he layers his lilting strings above the thick, infectious bed of percussion created by Arthur Hull and Tony Khalife (tablas) for the verses, giving way to Marc Russo's potent alto chorus-during which Star takes a harmony role. Star lets Russo to carry the lead on key tracks like "Got The Feeling" and "My Stuff" to great effect. Mary Fettig's magnificent flute duets with Star on "This Country," recalling classic Tim Weisberg. The best track is also the one which finds Star realizing the perfect blend of his homeland and new home in America. Star rolls out the African percussion and guitar energy as he does on most of these tunes, but he opens the piece with a dusty motif - played brilliantly by Jon Eriksen's harmonica - inspired by old Western film scores. Just as we're visualizing our West, Star invites us back to his roots. Could Mr. Starr do the same?
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran