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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

THE FAREED HAQUE GROUP

By Robert Kaye
Published September 27, 2005

Cosmic Hug
Magnitude

For years, consummate guitarist Fareed Haque has been at the forefront of contemporary music, particularly World Jazz. From an early age Haque, whose father was Pakistani and mother Chilean, had an eclectic musical upbringing. He studied both jazz (winning a scholarship) and classical guitar in college. He has since worked with many of the world’s most notable artists and projects: the celebrated Jazzpaña II album, with tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, Sting, keyboardist/composer Joe Zawinul and numerous first-class musicians. He’s also Professor of Guitar at Northern Illinois University. His latest recording dances mostly on the IndoJazz Fusion floor, yet also saunters out to other “hangs” such as funk, jazz, avant-garde and bebop. For example, “Pairs” opens up with soulful backbeat groove, atop which tablas and bols add an Eastern pulse. Yet texturally, the tune also features electric piano and electronic colors. Haque’s jazzy solo shows of what mettle he’s made, which is an impressive alloy of styles and influences. There’s much to meet the ear here, so repeated listening/grooving is recommended. Haque is an exceedingly gifted musician and is, without question, deserving of much wider recognition.