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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

Rufus Cappadocia

By Chris Heim
Published July 18, 2008

Songs For Cello
Velour

No ordinary instrumentalist, Rufus Cappadocia plays a five-string electric cello he designed to hold its own with other amplified instruments and reach beyond typical classical settings. Some of these have included Hendrix tributes and rock bands (remember the Canadian new wave group Martha And The Muffins?), as well as adventurous world and jazz ensembles (Paradox Trio, Orange Then Blue, DJ Cheb i Sabbah, Frank London) and the marvelous reinvention of traditional folk songs he and Bethany Yarrow realized on last year’s 900 Miles. But Cappadocia began as a solo street musician, and he returns to those roots on this new live project. The album is largely a meditative set, as suggested by such titles as “Prayer” (one of two tracks augmented by the hypnotic drone of Indian tanpura), “Lament” and “Forgiveness,” although “Melodie” and “Transformation” do offer lively exercises in fluidity and rhythm. Arguably the most intriguing cellist in contemporary popular music, Cappadocia continues to defy boundaries and win new respect for his instrument with the intriguing songs he’s created for it.