Datura Road receives a stirring review from Jazz2Love

The self-titled CD from Datura Road offers listeners a variety of flavors from Turkish accented woodwinds to the Italian-textured strums of the mandolin and the American folk aromas of the acoustic guitar.  Eastern influences meet western elements on the recording, making for a multi-colored sonic collage that, contrary to popular belief about polar opposites, is aurally pleasing.

Asian-toned instruments such as the ud/oud, bansuri and tabla are layered with the familiar western sounds of the guitar, bass, drums, and clarinet.   The intermingling of these diverse registers prove to be a complementing mix as multi-instrumentalist Matt Nobile applies a smooth voicing to the tracks.   His  vocals blend nicely into the fluid curves of the tracks, expressing a sage-like presence through the melodies.  He moves with the tide of the chord progressions, becoming a part of the ebb and flow in numbers like “Norwegian Wood” and “Tracing the Day.”

The ephemeral texture of the strings and woodwinds cruising along “Ila” brings to mind gorgeous landscapes, inducing one’s thoughts to picture images of beauty and peace.  Nobile’s vocals return in “Ntoto,” inciting listeners to interpret the images expressed in his lyrics, “Wind in feathered flight / Dancing down to earth / Throws into the sky / What we think we are worth.”   Profound and poetic, the lyrics cause listeners to ponder the words, what they mean and how they represent the world around them.

The instrumental “Bird Medicine” is a confluence of Asian tints and folkloric swirls resting over a catchy rhythmic beat.  The sleek twirls of Nobile’s bowing strings from the oud trestle “Shanti,” infusing an airy quality that’s latticed by the flute-like flapping of Steve Gorn’s bansuri injecting a tribal hue into the melodic tapestry.  Pablo Shine’s congas give “Red Velvet” a Latin flare while the swiveling motion of Tim Allen’s clarinet adds a folkloric-slant to “Ocean Dance.”  The meditative sway of the guitar chords roaming along “Living Under Water” pervades a folk pop shade contoured by the jangly chimes of the mandolin.

At the helm of Datura Road are guitarist/vocalist Matt Nobile and guitarist/mandolin player Raphael Garritano.  The pair blend Old World/Baroque-esque motifs with contemporary concepts in the chord patterns.  The opposing styles come together and brandish a harmonious blend.  Sonically, the listener is transported through time from the folkloric styles of the Medieval and Baroque eras to the jaunty rhythmic meters of modern times.  There is not one particular genre that suits Datura Road.  Their music stretches across the spectrum and across time.

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