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Sir Richard Bishop's musical life has been rich and varied. From creating wildly unpredictable jazz-punk during his 50-album and 26 year stint as part of Sun City Girls, to his status as co-founder of the radical label Sublime Frequencies - a company which has released unusual recordings from all around the globe, over the last decade.

Throughout all this, Bishop's standing as a superb guitarist has grown. Although some of his releases have touched on electronic music and he had a spell playing dazzling improv-rock with the power trio Rangda (alongside Ben Chasny and Chris Corsano), it is his acoustic guitar work, and his willingness to explore the traditional music of North Africa and the Middle East, that best defines him today.

The story behind Tangier Sessions is a fascinating one. Whilst living in Geneva, Bishop entered a small guitar shop and fell in love with an acoustic guitar of undetermined origin which was probably over a hundred years old, and the only distinguishing mark on it was an obscure signature 'C.Bruno'. Bishop couldn't stop playing it, making two extended visits to the shop, only to be disappointed that the guitar was out of his price range. Negotiations began in earnest, and he and the owner agreed a deposit. Soon after he took the guitar with him to Morocco for a week, where he played it extensively in his hotel room and recorded these improvised pieces which became Tangier Sessions.

Over the 40 minutes which make up the finished album, he performs seven new pieces, which admirers of his previous acoustic guitar releases will revel in. The more attentive fans may like to know that this is first full album where he has played an acoustic guitar without a pick. This does lead to a softer feel on some of the tunes, none more so than the opening track 'Frontier', which is a pretty, almost-classical piece, sounding just as European as it does North African.

Although obviously this album was recorded in Morocco, the Arabic influences are blended with others and are more subtle than you may expect. Tracks such as the busy 'Mirage', with its flurry of notes, is more in touch with raga and blues influences, whilst the fastest most dramatic piece 'Safe House', features flamenco style strumming.

Others tracks are definitely in tune with the recording location. 'International Zone' has a delicate, minimal approach, with Richard making that old guitar sound more like an oud, and 'Bound in Morocco' is reflective and comes across like a musical sketch of his surroundings.

The two stand-out tracks are also the prettiest. 'Hadija', as the name suggests, has a more Middle Eastern feel and is a lovely reflective piece. Closing track 'Let it Come Down' has a delicate, timeless melody, and could almost have been written as a tribute to that old guitar, as the notes ring out beautifully.

It is important to remember that Tangier Sessions does not sound like someone indulging themselves just because they got a new guitar. These improvised pieces are intricate and certainly stand up to repeated listens, and the album makes a good companion piece to Bishop's previous, rather fine, acoustic recordings.

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