Jonas Hellborg - Zenhouse

Jonas Hellborg - Zenhouse
Genre: Jazz
Duration: 54:09
Artist: Jonas Hellborg
Album: Zenhouse
Release Date: November 9, 1999
Recording Location: Ragnarpers Gärsnäs
Styles: Fusion, World Fusion, Post-Bop

If you are familiar with the previous efforts of monster electric bass guitarist Jonas Hellborg and electric guitarist Shawn Lane, you're in for a big, and hopefully pleasant, surprise. They've unplugged for this effort, done live in concert at Ragnarpers Garsnas.

Hellborg is on acoustic double-neck bass guitar, Lane is on acoustic guitar, and Jeff Sipe (aka Apt. Q-258) plays drums and percussion. The music takes on a definite Eastern Indian raga flavor with a tranquil effect. There are two extended pieces broken up into two segments apiece, both displaying a characteristic effortless flow, patience, and virtue closely associated with the music of Ravi Shankar, Oregon, or Shakti. That is not to say their virtuosity is tamed -- far from it. At over 30 minutes, the first side, called "The House Stands Still," begins with the A section "In the House," peaceful and tonal, Lane's unhurried improvisations at the forefront, with slight percussion accompaniment and a little vocalizing tacked on. A cymbal roll or two washes in here and there, directly segueing to "Outdoors" with intensified cymbal and small percussion informing a 4/4 rhythm. On this track there is less riffing and more interplay from Lane and Hellborg, along with some patented unison playing á la Shakti. The second side, called "Trances End Here," reverses roles with Hellborg leading and guitar droning. This is a serene journey through Mecca, with near Sephardic, even spatial, cymbal and string overtones. There's more unison development from "Departure" to "Conclusion" as the trio suddenly breaks into an energized pace.

Strummed chords in double time from Lane fuel this spontaneous, delightful run to the finish line. If one finds interest in the aforementioned references, it is also likely one will be quite happy with this new phase in this trio's evolution. Those expecting and wanting only the rock loudness these three have displayed before, however, will be disappointed. The stark contrast to prior efforts is so fully realized and convincing, it makes one wonder what they might be up to for their next project. This one is definitely recommended.

In the House / Jonas HellborgJonas Hellborg feat: Shawn Lane13:01
Outdoors / Jonas HellborgJonas Hellborg feat: Shawn Lane17:09
Departure / Jonas HellborgJonas Hellborg feat: Shawn Lane13:45
Conclusion / Jonas HellborgJonas Hellborg feat: Shawn Lane10:14

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