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Mystery of Faith

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
In this musical world where sticking to formulas often translates to sales, it's always exciting to find musicians unafraid to create projects that are a bit all over the map. On his first solo CD release, the veteran bassist who's played with everyone from Miles Davis to Carlos Santana expresses his wild, often melodic, fusion-based compositional nature and a love for the many genres that have shaped him. Santana fans will gravitate first to the moody, Middle-Eastern-flavored "Sea of Stories," which finds the legendary guitarist brooding on acoustic before joining a rising swell of atmosphere for a crisp improvisational section. "Rope Dancers" begins with a spacey Eastern vibe before turning into a jig-like groove underscored by Stef Burns' raging guitar, then it becomes a throbbing free for all complete with the explosive drum kick of Paul van Wageningen. These powerful statements are balanced somewhat by less-compelling numbers like the near-smooth jazziness of "The Dreams of Maya" and then hard-to-resist funk numbers like "A Night at the Astoria" (with Alex Murzyn on flutes). Barbara Higbie of the Montreux Band creates an ethereal vocal to accompany the creepy, seductive arrangement of "Mr. Tambourine Man." Bass freaks will best appreciate the two bass solo numbers, but "Kahi Lai" to the layperson may come across as glorified noodling. It's hardly riveting on a consistent basis, but Rietveld's always game for adventure. ~ Jonathan Widran, Rovi