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  • Jonathan Widran


A true global jazz fusion ensemble, Shijin finds four famed musicians with all-star resumes from all around the globe joining forces for an ultra-compelling, rhythmically scattershot (powerfully and intentionally so) jam session that reflects the alternately fiery and sensual old school rock-soul-fusion heyday of the 70’s.

None of these cats are Chinese, but their collective name is the perfect metaphor for their combined aesthetic. At the heart of Chinese mythology are four spiritual creatures known as the Shijin – four celestial emblems, each guarding direction of the compass. Each creature has a corresponding season, color, element, virtue and animal, among other things. None of these cats are Chinese.

There’s tribal intensity, dreamy sax driven jazz-soul, prog-rock (particularly on the slyly titled “Discomania”), generous jazz piano and Rhodes improvisations and scorching distorted rock. It’s pretty much a free for all, uniting disparate parts into an expansive landscape that’s a true metaphor for the transcendence that results when varying cultures and philosophies merge beautifully.

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