Songs of Freedom
Take a trip back to the time when 'fusion' was not the naughtiest of all possible naughty words, and listen without prejudice to this superlatively genre-bending collection. Nguyen Le reaches the parts that other fusionistas fail to reach with renditions of anthemic pop tunes performed with staggering panache and skill. The original Black Dog, Come Together (performed here in 9:8, for heaven's sake!), Whole Lotta Love, Sunshine of Your Love and even In a Gadda Da Vida will never sound the same again. And it's by no means all guitar widdly-widdly - some spectacular vibes and marimba playing (Illya Amar) plays an equally prominent role. For concept, performance and realisation, it's (this reviewer's) album of the year.