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Album Review: Beyond Borders
Jesse Cook
Cover image of the album Beyond Borders by Jesse Cook
Beyond Borders
Jesse Cook
2017 / EOne Music
43 minutes
Review by Michael Debbage
A quick two years later and we find Jesse Cook following up his experimental One World wondering just where he will wander this time. So Cook is still experimenting with drum loops but this particular influence is much more subdued with him returning to the Persian influences found on Nomad along with a visit to South American as well as all the ingredients we can expect from Chef Cook as he presses once again beyond any music borders.

Opening with the title track that includes compelling percussion, guitar work and eastern vocal chants once again his listeners know that they are in for another international flavored musical journey. Needless to say the Nomad influence is warranted as this particular song features Maryem Tollar who was featured on a few tracks of this 2003 release. So while the opening track is somewhat familiar territory he also revisits South American as he did on The Rumba Foundation album courtesy of the follow up track “Hembra” but this time with what sides like Chilean pipes along with some sizzling guitar work.

Nevertheless, Cook is very capable of bringing together his tried and true melodic stompers this time in the form of “Double Dutch”. Opening with handclapping, cross rhythm percussion, Cook’s guitar bantering with Chris Church’s violin work, it is further complimented by what sounds like a surging synthesizer strings and needless to say it has all the ingredients of a Cook classic song something that One World was missing.

On the complete opposite side of the musical emotions Cook presents a more vulnerable and naked musical composition as found on “The Toll” which would have sat very nicely on The Blue Guitar Sessions with the focus on Cook, supplemented by nominal percussion and violin work. Similar results can also be found on the mid tempo tearful “Above The Rain” with guest Vasyk Popadiuk this time featured on the violin. Speaking of mid tempo tracks check out the moody “Call To Rhythm” that you will initially miss but this sultry song will slowly seduce you.

So with a little less experimenting than Cook’s prior release One World this has not restricted his wanderlust for international musical themes. And yes there are glances to the past album themes but never at the expense of just repeating himself. As a result Jesse Cook continues to go beyond any musical borders making Beyond Borders yet another appealing and appetizer Cook recording that will have you salivating.
December 25, 2017
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