Oct. 28, 2011
Guitarist Joseph Sullinger’s Earth Voyage is an album of many directions. When I first sampled the project, I found some marvelously exotic and sweet Latin melodies contained in the first three tracks. From there, it was off to adding new age and world journeys to the repertoire, and that all seems to work well in this dance of diversity and culture.
This, for the most part, is an album with which to settle down after that terribly frustrating and perhaps hectic day. For example, track 5, “Sailing,” features the backdrop of ocean waves and gulls and the soothing violin of Adrienne Galfi and has a somewhat magical and orchestral appeal. It doesn’t hurt that Galfi is a member of the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra. Did I mention that Sullinger and several members of his family reside in Mexico? That may explain much of this album’s Latin influence—that is, where Latin music is the theme on this album.
Getting back to the tenor and mood of the project, no one can argue that “quiet reflection” and relaxation were often the goal of Sullinger here. His guitar does a nice job of creating that atmosphere, and his supporting band members serve him well in complementing him.
Here are ten tracks that significantly differ from each other but that also bear the common denominator of pleasant melodies. From the beautiful and Latinesque tracks, “Drawn By the Wind” and “Voyage” to the world-flavored “Sands of Time” and “The Ocean,” there is a mood for all who wish to venture outside the world of smooth jazz for a moment to take that slight detour. With Earth Voyage, Sullinger drives that vehicle with ease and finesse. – Ronald Jackson