Esthema: Hereness & Nowness of Things

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Artist: Esthema

Artist: Esthema
Title: Hereness & Nowness of Things

... The group plays at a truly world-class level February 2010 As their press states, this Boston-based quintet is "a world fusion ensemble mixing elements of Eastern European/Balkan and Near/Middle Eastern music with jazz and progressive rock." Led by exceptional guitarist and composer guitarist Andy Milas, Esthema also includes Turkish violinist Onur Dilisen, oud and bouzouki player Tery Lemanis, Argentine Bassist Ignacio Long, and Brazilian drummer Bruno Esrubilsky. Drawing on advanced musical studies and international performance experience, the group plays at a truly world-class level, with authenticity, aplomb, and exuberance, resulting in a sumptuous blend that's as tasty as an Athenian olive. - Barry Cleveland, Guitar Player Magazine, April 2010 If one wants some breathtaking World Fusion music, then Boston, MA's Esthema is the way to go. February 2010 If one wants some breathtaking World Fusion music, then Boston, MA's Esthema is the way to go. Despite the heavy Middle Eastern influence and sound, this has universal appeal. The recording is magnificent bringing all the instruments both exotic and traditional, fully up in the mix. The drums especially sound wonderful, in particular the cymbals and snare drum. Of course, it helps to have an excellent drummer, and Esthema do in Bruno Esrubilsky. Other instruments featured include acoustic and electric guitar, violin, bass, bouzouki and oud. If Rock fans were able to enjoy the Page/Plant tour of '95-'96 and heard all the Middle Eastern arrangements to various Led Zeppelin songs with an open ear, than why not Esthema? The track 'On & On' is the closest to being maintsream or Rock oriented, largely due to the killer electric guitar solo by Andy Milas which shows a heavy Jazz Fusion influence from acts like The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return To Forever. It's just an outstanding piece of music and the drums and violin are also stellar. Nothing else displayed here sounds like this one song, and it would be nice to hear more material of this ilk. 'Eastern Dance' sounds just like the title says and features very delicate arrangements that work perfectly, while 'Arrythmia' is more of a mellower, drawn out piece. For fans of World Music, Jazz Fusion, Progressive Rock and even Folk Rock, Esthema are a rewarding investment. -Peter Braidis, I could not recommend this more highly to lovers of world and jazz music. February 2010 The latest from Esthema is another great slab of east meets west, jazz meets world, art meets earth. A follow-up to their critically acclaimed Apart From the Rest, this new album picks up on the framework previously laid down, while refining and blurring the lines of influence. The band has obviously evolved to become more that a sum of their parts. This new release is a much more cohesive singular idea. This thread of continuity gives this album a natural flow lacking in their previous release. The compositions are more of a collaboration of all members than just one, which provides a fluid counterpoint, spotlighting the talents of everyone in the band so eloquently. I could not recommend this more highly to lovers of world and jazz music. -Joel Simches, The Noise Magazine Excerpt from TAXI's (the World Leader in Independent A&R) critique of Change of Season fall 2009 The group sounds excellent. Based on what I am hearing you're all superb musicians. I'm quite impressed by the fusing of Middle Eastern/South Asian & perhaps medieval approaches with jazz improve sensibility; the results sound seamless as well as fresh & inspired. The recording is also well done; to my ears this is radio ready and is sonically viable for potential film/TV uses. -TAXI, The World Leader in Independent A&R ...melodic, smoothly flowing persuasion with exotic texturing and tricky changeups fall 2009 Two years after debut Apart from the Rest, eclectic Boston-area ensemble Esthema returns with another album of Eastern- and Latin-flavored ethnic instrumentals sifted through the jazz-improv strainer. Violinist Onur Dilisen and guitarist Andy Milas pace these eight tracks with Tery Lemanis (oud, bouzouki) lending ethnic flavors. Ignacio Long (bass) and Bruno Esrubilsky (drums) man the rhythm section. Guests on doumbek and cello also appear. Like it's predecessor, The Hereness and Nowness of Things is of melodic, smoothly flowing persuasion with exotic texturing and tricky changeups. Nine-minute opener "Change of Season" sets the prevailing tone of subtle mood shifts, from mysterious to playful to cerebral - unpredictably twisting and winding about in mid-tempo fashion. Long's understated bass soloing pushes the jazz vibe out front while Dilisen alternates between strident and swingin'. The likes of "Eastern Dance" and "Four Colors" are danceable (but you'd better be especially light on your feet). "Illusion of Truth" has some swiftly nimble call-response passages. "On & On" features Milas on electric guitar, which Esthema hopefully will explore further next time. -John Collinge, Progression Magazine, Fall 2009 - Issue 58 Esthema's approach is like a great example how a world fusion band should be able to sound. November 2009 Esthema's approach is like a great example how a world fusion band should be able to sound. Nothing here of the recognisable themes to be improvised upon, but contemporary music based upon a wide range of skills and ideas, forming a new form of chamber folk (rock) music with a total world music fundament. The violin plays with jazz-fusion abilities but also switches easily to a few folkdance melodies with the same sort of strength; the percussion plays with accurate precision, including microrhythms (learned from his Brazil days), while broadening the scopes and pushing the boundaries towards a folk-rock and jazzrock, something which even improved the band's original sound with a subtle touch of power. There are recognisable Greek or occasional Turkish music themes here and there, immediately adapted into bigger compositions and orientations. Surprising was also the use of some electric guitar, which widens the emotionality within the music even more, in an equally subtle balance. There were some guest appearances on dumbek and cello. Highly recommended! -Gerald Van Waes, Phsyche Music Esthema seems to have a solid grasp of what the hereness and nowness of things is about. November 2009 The band Esthema may hail from Boston, but it is the diverse makeup of the band that makes them so unique. The world fusion quintet contains some members from Turkey, Brazil, and Argentina. They are all thoroughly trained musicians, and to add to their range, some of them have trained throughout several countries in Europe, including Spain, Greece, Belgium, and Ireland. Putting all of these pieces together, Esthema brings something original on their second release, The Hereness and Nowness of Things. Esthema's first release, Apart From the Rest was composed of six tracks that were written by guitarist Andy Milas. They were arranged by the entire band and included many elements of Eastern and Western music. On The Hereness and Nowness of Things the creation process is pretty much the same, outside of "Four Colors", which was written by violinist Onur Dilisen. With over eight songs, Esthema really takes you around the world while ranging from more traditional elements to some more modern, and often a combination of them. The styles vary, and you will be reminded of different regions several times, sometimes even in the same song. Personally I tend to prefer the more traditional aspects, but I think the quality of the musicians carries you through the different characteristics that you may like less and makes the transitions smooth. My favorite track is the opener "Change of Season", so sample that one first. The closer "On & On" tends to be more modern, so check out that one to get a better sense of the range of this album. At first The Hereness and Nowness of Things seemed an unfitting title

1.1 Change of Season
1.2 Eastern Dance
1.3 A Place to Rest
1.4 Arrhythmia
1.5 Forward Motion
1.6 Four Colors
1.7 Illusion of Truth
1.8 On ; on

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