Get it on CD here and LP here from Conch, sound clips below
Into the Wind by Guzheng performer/composer Bei Bei He and Ubiquity producer Shawn Lee marries a unique blend of ancient tradition with studio trickery. This uplifting, genre-bending sound clash, recalls the afro centric harping of Dorothy Ashby and hypnotic spiritual jazz of Alice Coltrane. With Lee adding equal doses of hip hop, electric jazz, and soul sensibility to the backing tracks, the captivating sound of Bei Beiâ€™s Guzheng comes alive on peaceful mellow joints as much as it does on Kung-Fu flavored funk tunes.
Falling in love with the 5 foot tall x 1 foot wide 21-stringed Chinese instrument at first sight, Bei Bei began playing at the age of seven. While studying the Guzheng at a music conservatory in Hong Kong in 2002, Bei Bei developed an interest in jazz and groove-based music and hoped to make those styles with her instrument one day. Eight years later, now residing in Southern California, Bei Bei was contacted by Shawn Lee about making a record in the way sheâ€™d previously dreamed of, and she jumped at the opportunity.
These days itâ€™s not uncommon for artists to swap tracks and build tunes over the internet. But, in this case, the artists had to drop their guards, throw caution to the wind, and learn about each otherâ€™s very different crafts as they went. Meeting only once (over pancakes and ice tea at an iHop in Huntington Beach!) the two emailed and swapped files for about a year to complete the record.
â€œShawn was inspired by some of the traditional music that I play,â€ she explains. â€œIt took both of us being committed, fully self-expressed, inspired, connected to make this album happen, â€œ she adds.
This is the first record of many in 2010 for the unstoppable Shawn Lee. His last two albums were also collaborations. These previous two releases saw him work with Clutchy Hopkins on the Fascinating Fingers album and with Money Mark and Tommy Guerrero under the name Lord Newborn & The Sugar Skulls. He has plans to do some major interpretations of famous classical pieces later in the year, and has an all vocal collaboration album in the works, too.
01. Into The Wind
02. Hot Thursday
04. Make Me Stronger feat. Georgia Anne Muldrow
05. Little Sunrise
06. Bei's Bossa
07. Whiskey Waltz
08. Willingness feat. Georgia Anne Muldrow
09. The Tiger
10. The Master Room
11. The Ambush
12. The Blue Grotto
Georgia Anne Muldrow - Kings Ballad CD / 2LP (Ubiquity)