Nomad Spirit

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Maybe this is Abaji giving in to his tangled Middle Eastern roots. Maybe it's the indulgence he's allowing himself before getting back on track. With the help of oud and gimbri player Majid Bekkas (from Morocco) and Indian percussionist Ramesh Shotham, he's all over the place. Even the virtuosic guest Djivan Gasparyan -- who adds his trademark duduk to a couple of tracks here -- can't make a great deal of sense out of the morass that finds no direction here. It's all very well, for example, having a sitar-guitar built for you, but then to play it with a bow -- although perhaps adventurous -- also defeats the purpose a little. Taking chances is one thing; likewise stretching boundaries. This does the former and attempts the latter. Unfortunately, it's one of those times when nothing seems to come together properly, and the result is just a mess.

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