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Beyond Borders

Average Rating: 0 0 of 5 Stars!


RELEASED: April 15th 2015
LABEL: UMP Records
TRACKS: 11
TOTAL LENGTH: 00:54:00
FORMAT: 320 kbps MP3
CATEGORIES: Inspired Music
GENRE: World / International

A Global Voyage in Music - World Fusion & Jazz with 35 Musicians from Around the World featuring original compositions by Randy Armstrong & Volker Nahrmann. CD has 16 page booklet & photos.

"From the first notes rising on a guitar's steel string to the last note fading from a trumpet's muted bell, Beyond Borders soars. Randy Armstrong & Volker Nahrmann have crafted a vibrant and fascinating tapestry of music, masterfully woven from a truly kaleidoscopic palate of vocal and instrumental tonal hues." - Eric Sinclair sixstrstories.com

Beyond Borders - The Story (16 Page Narrative Booklet and Photos with Physical CD)

Randy Armstrong has been creating a fusion of jazz, western classical and folk music with musical traditions and instruments from around the world for four decades. He co-founded the pioneering Do'a World Music Ensemble, which welcomed classical and jazz bassist Volker Nahrmann from Hamburg, Germany on its fifth album, World Dance. This launched an enduring musical collaboration for Volker and Randy and the subsequent release of their Hand In Hand CD on the Global Pacific label as Unu Mondo in 1994. Inspired by their love of music and cultures, they tour and travel extensively, drawing inspiration from the world's diversity. Their compositions take you on a global voyage, from the streets of Havana and Rio de Janeiro, the evocative traditions of India and the Middle East, to the romantic café and cinema music of France and Italy, the haunting sounds of the Native American pow wow, and the worldbeat rhythms of West Africa and the Caribbean, all blended with contemporary jazz, western classical, and folk music influences. Several songs on Beyond Borders are tributes: to jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar, and Beatle George Harrison. The songs also feature many former members of Do'a and Unu Mondo, joined by outstanding world-class musicians from many countries. Five years in the making, Beyond Borders is a "Magnum Opus" for Armstrong and Nahrmann, a collection of songs composed over a 40-year span of creative output, dedicated to the belief that music has the power to uplift the human spirit and be a catalyst for change in the world.


Beyond Borders - The Songs

1. CIAO BELLA
The Brazilian-flavored Ciao Bella features sublime vocalist Olga Roman of Madrid, Spain and percussionist Marcus Santos from San Paulo, Brazil, as well as drummer Henrique De Almeida, originally from Recife, Brazil. Olga's soaring voice is also heard in Unu Mondo's Brazilian-style song, Alegria, on the Hand In Hand CD. She was a natural choice to sing the melody on Ciao Bella. Henrique also performed on Hand In Hand, released in 1994 on Global Pacific Records.

Volker Nahrmann - composer, electric bass, keyboards
Randy Armstrong - co-composer, guitars, cavaquinho, berimbau, ganza, shakers
Olga Roman - vocals
Marcus Santos - cuica, pandeiro, tambourim, atabaque
Henrique De Almeida - drums


2. FEAR NOT FEAR
The contemporary Latin Jazz song, Fear Not Fear, was inspired by an etching entitled The Crimson Coloured Ark by American artist Stephen Brandon, and reflects the triumph of human hearts over the many fears and challenges that all people experience through the journey of life. The song features Andres Espinoza from Santiago, Chile, on congas and bongos, the drumming of Jose Duque from Caracas, Venezuela, and former Unu Mondo saxophonist, Ken Gable.

Randy Armstrong - composer, guitars, synth-guitar, shakers, guiro, percussion
Volker Nahrmann - co-composer, upright bass
Ken Gable - alto saxophone
Andres Espinoza - congas, bongo
Jose Duque - drums


3. UNIDAD ANTHEM
Unidad Anthem is the prelude and introduction to Unidad and composed as a tribute to legendary jazz trumpeter and Bahá'í brother Dizzy Gillespie, who introduced the music of Cuba and Brazil to audiences throughout the United States and the world. Dizzy was not only a great musician but a musical ambassador and humanitarian who demonstrated the unity of the human race through his United Nations Orchestra. The song features virtuoso trumpeter Yaure Muniz from Havana, Cuba.


4. UNIDAD - TRIBUTE TO DIZZY GILLESPIE
In 1976, Do'a members Randy Armstrong ad Ken LaRoche performed an opening set for the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet at Sandy's Jazz Revival in Beverly, Massachusetts. Do'a had just recorded its first album, Light Upon Light, on the Philo / Rounder label and Dizzy endorsed it as "One of the important contributions to future of our music". Dizzy also gave some important advice and suggested adding percussion to their sound. His generosity of spirit, encouragement, and advice launched a lifelong passion for the study of world rhythms and music. Unidad was composed as a tribute to Dizzy in 1978 and only performed in its original form once by Do'a World Music Ensemble. After a concert tour in Cuba in 2012, Volker and Randy reworked the song into a Latin Jazz arrangement featuring Cuban trumpeter Yaure Muniz with saxophonist Charlie Jennison and Walt Bostian on trombone rounding out the horn section. Andres Espinoza adds Latin percussion playing congas, timbales, and guiro, with Jose Duque on drums.

Randy Armstrong - composer, acoustic guitars, Cuban tres, clave, maracas, mambo bell
Volker Nahrmann - co-composer, Ampeg baby bass, piano, keyboards, horn arrangements
Olga Roman - vocals
Yaure Muniz - trumpet, flugelhorn
Charlie Jennison - tenor saxophone
Walt Bostian - trombone, bass trombone
Andres Espinoza - congas, timbales, guiro, bongo cowbell
Jose Duque - drums


5. WHEREVER YOU ARE (Rupak / Dawr Hindi - 7 Beat Cycle)
Wherever You Are is composed in a 7-beat cycle taken from the Indian rhythm, Rupak, and the Middle-Eastern rhythm, Dawr Hindi. Over the years, Randy has worked as a teaching artist in hundreds of artist-in-residence programs at public and private schools, universities, cultural institutions, and programs that support children with disabilities and at-risk and abused youth. During one residency, he offered a music-therapy session in which a young girl was very distraught after a visit with her mother. To console her, Randy began an improvised call-and-response chant in which he sang, "Wherever You Are" and she sang, "Mommy", over and over. She gradually became calm. It was a very moving experience and later, the simple chant was expanded into a song with lyrics that express the love between a child and a parent, and can also be interpreted as the longing between two lovers or between the seeker and the Divine. The song features the voice of Hallie Fuller in a duet with Randy and the darbuka, played by Iranian-born percussionist Shamou, with Ken Gable on alto saxophone.

Randy Armstrong - composer, guitars, vocals, Hawaiian slide guitar, Konnakol vocals, percussion Volker Nahrmann - co-composer, fretless bass, keyboards, sound effects
Hallie Fuller - vocals
Ken Gable - alto sax
Shamou - darbuka
Jose Duque - drums


6. SHANTI OM - DEDICATED TO RAVI SHANKAR and GEORGE HARRISON
Shanti Om, a composition inspired by the mystical and ancient music of India, features the sitar, tabla, dilruba and upright bass. It honors Ravi Shankar and George Harrison, who played a pivotal role in introducing Western audiences to the music of India. Shanti Om was performed as the finale of a score composed for the 2014 Phillips Exeter Academy production of "The Mahabharata", the epic poem of India. The song features longtime musical associate Marty Quinn on tabla and vocals, Raghav Bhat on Carnatic violin, and Vidhya Bhat on vocals. It is a fusion of Indian classical, folkloric, and Bollywood styles with western pop and jazz.

Randy Armstrong - composer, sitar, tabla, tanpura/tamboura, manjira/zils, tambourine, gungroo bells, acoustic guitar, swarmandal zither, shakers, percussion, keyboards
Volker Nahrmann - co-composer, upright bass, dilruba, keyboards
Marty Quinn - tabla, drums, vocals
Raghav Bhat - Carnatic violin
Vidyha Bhat, vocals


7. WHITE CLOUD BLACK THUNDER
Featuring the Native American Music Award (Nammy) winning Black Thunder Singers, White Cloud Black Thunder highlights the beauty of the Lakota courting flute fused with contemporary jazz. In the early 1990s, Randy participated in a Native American gathering in British Columbia where he received his first Lakota courting flute along with some instruction from master Lakota flute player and hoop dancer Kevin Locke. Following the improvised studio recording of "Lakota" on Unu Mondo's album, Hand in Hand, Randy and Volker always had a freely improvised song for this flute in our live shows. Volker decided to compose a melody specifically using the natural scale of the Lakota flute and has since harmonized it to transport the theme into a more urban setting. During the recording process, he and his family attended a Native American Pow Wow and heard the powerful drumming and singing of the Black Thunder Singers and he immediately invited them to perform on the song. White Cloud Black Thunder celebrates the power of the natural world and of Native American and Indigenous cultures and music.

Volker Nahrmann - composer, upright bass, keyboards, sound effects
Randy Armstrong - co-composer, Lakota courting flute, guitars, tambourine, percussion, sound effects, aluminum pot lid
Black Thunder Singers* - vocals, ceremonial drum
Ken Gable - alto sax
Henrique De Almeida - drums

*Black Thunder Singers - Ernie Proper * Scott Devoid * Jamie Burson * Nathan J. Johnson * Bradley Clark * Edward B. Rodrigue Jr. * Coline F. Rodrigue * Katherine Devoid * Heather Shea-Clark * Chelsea Rodrigue * Brianna Rodrigue


8. THERE'S ALWAYS HOPE
After the release of the Do'a album, Ornament of Hope, in the late 1970s, the management and booking agent for the Paul Winter Consort began booking engagements for Do'a and on several occasions they shared the stage at festivals and concerts. Inspired by the Paul Winter Consort's musical work as environmentalists, There's Always Hope was composed. In an early concert performance of the song, Volker and Randy were joined by cellist Eugene Friesen of the Paul Winter Consort. They loved his sound and spirit so much that they asked him back when recording "Hope". Also featured are Charlie Jennison on soprano saxophone and former Unu Mondo drummer Bertram Lehmann from Germany. The chorus features members of Voices From The Heart & ConTutti - Hallie Fuller, Julie Haggerty Southworth, and Cynthia Chatis.

Volker Nahrmann - composer, piano, upright bass, keyboards, vocals
Randy Armstrong - co-composer, 6 & 12 string acoustic guitars, Cameroonian & Thai shakers, vocals, Hawaiian slide guitar
Eugene Friesen - cello, vocals
Charlie Jennison - soprano saxophone
Bertram Lehmann - drums
Hallie Fuller - vocals
Julie Haggerty Southworth - vocals
Cynthia Chatis - vocals


9. LOVE LETTERS - THE STORY OF ABELARD AND HELOISE
The theme of this song was originally composed for the Pontine Theatre production "Correspondence of Desires" in 1993 and is based on the tragic love story of Abelard and Heloise in medieval France. The music for this song evokes the beautiful café music of France and cinematic film music of Italy and features Volker on bowed upright bass and Randy on classical guitar.

Randy Armstrong - composer, classical & acoustic guitars, percussion
Volker Nahrmann - co-composer, upright bass, melodica, piano, keyboards


10. FUN IN THE SUN
Fun In The Sun is an upbeat musical celebration of the vibrant Afro-Caribbean music and rhythms of West Africa. It features Theo Martey from Accra, Ghana, on vocals with members of his Akwaaba Ensemble, Evelyn Martey on vocals and master drummer Saeed Abbas on Donno talking drum. Henrique De Almeida plays drums, and backing vocalists are Hallie Fuller, Julie Haggerty Southworth, and Cynthia Chatis, with lyrics in the Ga language and in English.

Volker Nahrmann - composer, electric bass, keyboards
Randy Armstrong - co-composer, guitars, treble & alto kalimba, djembe, balafon, gankoqui & agogo bells, grello/firikyiwa castanets, Brazilian caxixi and Cameroonian shakers. sweeping broom
Theo Martey - vocals, djembe
Saeed Abbas - dondo talking drum
Ken Gable - alto saxophone
Henrique De Almeida - drums
Evelyn Martey - vocals
Hallie Fuller - vocals
Julie Haggerty Southworth - vocals
Cynthia Chatis - vocals


11. UNIDAD EPILOGUE
A postlude to Unidad - Tribute To Dizzy Gillespie and closing piece to Beyond Borders, with Yaure Muniz on Harmon muted trumpet solo.

Randy Armstrong - composer, acoustic guitar
Volker Nahrmann - co-composer, upright bass
Yaure Muniz - trumpet


Recorded at Beauty Hill Recording Studio, Barrington, New Hampshire 03825 USA
Engineered by Randy Armstrong, Volker Nahrmann & Nick Phaneuf
Produced by Randy Armstrong & Volker Nahrmann
Mastered by Lane Gibson Recording & Mastering, Williston, Vermont 05495 USA

Photography by Sofia Piel, Susan Downing, Volker Nahrmann, Indira Leal
Cover photo by duncan1890 licensed from Getty Images
Booklet Copy Editing by Phyllis Edgerly Ring
Printed, pressed and packaged by Oasis Disc Manufacturing


What The Reviewers Say...

"A sure-fingered guitar virtuoso." -Boston Globe

"Randy Armstrong is a virtuoso of versatility." -NH Magazine

"A sonic joyride from start to finish." -Portsmouth Herald

"One of the hottest world music bands on the planet." -The Patriot News

"Ridiculously Talented" -Metroland

The Boston Pheonix stated "Nahrmann's hypnotic solo nearly stopped the show"

Randy Armstrong & Volker Nahrmann - Beyond Borders






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