Knitting Factory Records
Adventurous world-class guitar virtuoso Gary Lucas, who’s played with everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Captain Beefheart to Jeff Buckley, has released The Edge of Heaven — featuring his exquisite arrangements of lush, melodic Chinese pop music from the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s.
This lavishly packaged new INDIGO recording contains instrumental and vocal renditions of songs made famous by two Chinese film and pop music stars of the last century, Chow Hsuan and Bai Kwong. Lucas encountered their beautiful songs while living in Asia during the early 70’s, and their music — a fascinating Shanghai-based hybrid of Western pop and swing music, Tin Pan Alley stylings and Broadway influences crossed with traditional Chinese music — made an indelible impression on him. So taken was he by the graceful elegance and shimmering melodic allure of these songs that he dedicated himself to arranging the songs in his own acoustic blues-based guitar style, while incorporating fresh vocal interpretations by the Singapore TV star Celest Chong and European art-singer Gisburg.
The result is a sumptuously beautiful crossover album that has swept the World Music charts internationally (including #1 in Canada, summer 2001) and topped many Best Album of the Year polls overseas (including France’s influential newspaper Libération).
In addition, the title song from the new album, “The Songstress on the Edge of Heaven,” is featured in the national PBS 3-part Bill Moyers special “Becoming American: The Chinese Experience,” which airs starting March 25th (check local listings).
All in all, The Edge of Heaven is an album that will not only appeal to fans of world music, Asian culture, and great guitar-playing (Gary Lucas is considered one of the best guitarists playing today, with over 10 acclaimed solo albums to date, including his latest charting album with the late Jeff Buckley, Songs to No One) — but also to fans of beautiful music, period.
For additional information, visit the official Gary Lucas website.
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