Airwaves: The Greatest Hits
(Infinita Records)


A mainstay on the World Music and Nuevo Flamenco scene and up there with the pre-eminent contemporary-instrumental, guitar-based American recording artists, Lawson Rollins puts his career into perspective with the 2018 CD release of Airwaves: The Greatest Hits. A celebration of his seven acclaimed solo albums, Airwaves takes the best of Lawson’s tracks and presents them as radio edits and chill remixes. Reasons for this are clear in that, these concise versions present the most immediate elements and edits them down time-wise, making them more radio friendly. Describing Airwaves, Lawson explains, “It’s a collection of tracks off of the various albums. The past seven albums have all spawned, usually a couple songs per album that have done pretty well on the radio chart. So, a lot of these songs were special radio edits that even have different performers that you wouldn’t even hear on the album versions and some other changes that I just decided to do for the sake of creating something unique for radio. But I never made these publicly available, so I decided this would be the perfect chance after seven albums to collect them together, plus two add a couple of new tracks.” As Lawson says, Airwaves adds in new parts to certain tracks—for example “In Motion”, from Lawson’s 2008 debut Infinita, now features an appearance by sax player Praful. Airwaves also features radio edit tracks from Lawson’s Infinite Chill album, which features tracks remixed by Shahin Shahida. A pair of newly recorded tracks—“Prado”, featuring violinist Mads Tolling and “World Of Wonder”, featuring fellow guitarist Stephen Duros and 3rd Force—shows some new and intriguing musical directions Lawson is currently taking. Much has been said about Lawson’s agile Spanish nylon string meets classical guitar style and techniques, which also incorporates elements of electronica, instrumental, Euro-classical, World Music and chill music—a hybrid sound that truly sets Lawson apart from many other Nuevo Flamenco, Latin music and even smooth jazz guitarists. As Lawson himself says, “The hybrid factor is really something that I embrace. The word traditional is not in my vocabulary.” A fine representation of a populist, virtuoso and visionary guitarist for the 21st century, the Global Groove of Airwaves places the music of Lawson Rollins in a colorful and appealing musical light.


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