A Rose For Me – The Soundscapers released in 2006 by First Impression Music (FIM). This recording project was an idea of Winston Ma, who sought to merge traditional music from his Chinese background with Western jazz. He explored his plan with master erhu player George Gao – who plays the versatile single-string Chinese violin. They assembled the other four players, which included Wei Li on guzheng – a sort of Chinese koto. He’s an outstanding guzheng performer in China and also a guest lecturer at the University of British Columbia music school in Vancouver – making it handy for his involvement in the project. The ensemble was rounded out with guitarist Bill Bridges, bassist Lew Mele, and drummer John Mele. And they dubbed the diverse quintet the Soundscapers.

Recorded at a studio in Toronto and mastered by Paul Stubblebine in San Francisco. There is a paragraph of description on each of the ten tracks, which aids appreciation for those not of Chinese background, to whom the folk songs will be entirely new. If the music appeals to you, you will have no second thoughts about the premium price of album – and that cannot be said about every one of the xrcds in the JVC catalog.

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