Sunday, August 19, 2012

Music – New Andy Summers Release Due Shortly

The first new album in half a decade from Police guitarist Andy Summers is due for release shortly. Entitled Fundamental, the CD is in collaboration with Brazilian singer Fernanda Takai, who is also the lead vocalist of the South American rock band Pato Fu. Summers and Takai met in 2009 during the making of the DVD concert documentary The United Kingdom of Ipanema, in which Summers collaborated with Brazilian guitarist Roberto Menescal.

Fundamental features 11 songs written by Summers, some of which are translated into Portuguese. Takai’s vocals are backed by Summers on guitar, Abraham Laboriel Sr. on bass, and Marcos Suzano on percussion. The album is aimed at the Brazilian/bossa nova/Latin jazz market and will be released in Brazil, the United States, Europe, and Japan (the Japanese edition contains a bonus track). Sound samples can be heard at

Summers was the guitarist for the mega-popular rock band The Police, who were active in the late 1970s and early 1980s and reunited for a 30th anniversary tour in 2007 and 2008. Being a good decade older than his bandmates Sting and Stewart Copeland, Summers began his professional recording career in the early 1960s, playing for Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band (which later became the psychedelic but short-lived Dantalian’s Chariot), Eric Burdon’s New Animals, and Soft Machine. After formally studying guitar at Northridge University in California from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, Summers returned to England and plied his trade as a session guitarist for Joan Armatrading, Neil Sedaka, Kevin Coyne, and Deep Purple’s Jon Lord before achieving monumental success and international stardom with The Police.

After the dissolution of The Police in the early 1980s, Summers scored some Hollywood films (Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Weekend at Bernie’s) and recorded one rock vocal album before establishing himself as an acclaimed and accomplished contemporary instrumental guitarist across a variety of styles, including jazz, fusion, New Age, and world music.

For a good overview of Summers’ solo work, I highly recommend the following albums: Mysterious Barricades, A Windham Hill Retrospective, Synaesthesia, and The X Tracks. My personal favorite Summers albums are Mysterious Barricades, The Golden Wire, Charming Snakes, World Gone Strange, Synaesthesia, Earth and Sky, and First You Build a Cloud.

--Raj Manoharan

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