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Sharon Isbin pulls double duty with 'Affinity' & 'Strings For Peace' / JP's MUSIC BLOG

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Grammy Award-Winning guitarist Sharon Isbin pulled double duty with two new albums that feature her work. One is the classical release "Affinity" and the other centers around the Northern Indian music of "Strings For Peace." Isbin's guitar work is simply stunning on the beautifully done album "Affinity." It features nine tracks beginning with the gentle, graceful touch of Chris Brubeck's "Affinity: Concerto For Guitar & Orchestra," as a tribute to the Dave Brubeck Centennial. The three part "El Decameron Negro" really showcases Sharon's work on the guitar, as the composition was given to Isbin as a gift from Cuban composer and guitarist Leo Brouwer. Chinese composer Tan Dun wrote "Seven Desires For Guitar" for Sharon Isbin nearly a decade ago and has the most experimental feel of any of the work on this album, as the quietness of the song is as important and the wonderful finger-picking moments. The "Affinity" album closes with another three part operatic piece titled "Of Love And Longing," which showcases another dimension to Sharon's talents, as she works alongside vocalist Isabel Leonard.

The other new release featuring the work of Sharon Isbin has her performing along side Sarod Masters - Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Bangash, Ayaan Ali Bangash and Amit Kavthekar. The album titled "Strings For Peace" contains four tracks (three of them lasting over 13 minutes), begins with the quiet opening of "By The Moon," before quickening up the pace during the song's second half "Raga Behag." The classical guitar work of Sharon Isbin and the sound of Northern India come together on the short four-minute piece "Love Avalanche - Raga Mishra Bhairav." The album finishes with the slow, subtle touches of "Sacred Evening," then take off with the wonderful Sarod work of "Raga Yaman." To find out more about Sharon Isbin and her latest two releases.

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