01. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5
02. Sancho T. Panza
(Hila Plitmann, Shea Welsh)
05. The Art Of Conversation
(Hila Plitmann, Shea Welsh, Aditya Kalyanpur, Ray Yslas)
07. One More Tomorrow
08. Your Turn
(Aditya Kalyanpur, Ray Yslas)
09. Lean On
(Orsted, Bresso, Grigahcine, Meckseper, Pentz)
10. Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair
(John Jacob Niles)
11. Merry Christmas Mother Earth
(Hila Plitmann, Shea Welsh)
two time GRAMMY® award winning vocalist
Vocals, Piano (10), Co-Producer
Shea Welsh, Guitars, Producer
Aditya Kalyanpur, Tabla, Co-Producer
GRAMMY® award winning pianist (07, 11)
Eru Matsumoto, Cello (02, 11)
Ray Yslas, Percussion (01 - 06, 08, 10)
Taku Hirano, Percussion (07, 09, 11)
Sezin Ahmet Turkmenoglu, Bass (01-07, 09-11)
Terrance Harrison, Synthesizer (11)
GRAMMY® award winning Recording Engineer
Terrance Harrison, Recording Engineer
Seven time GRAMMY® award winning Mixing Engineer
Joe Bozzi, Mastering Engineer
JC LeResch, 2nd Recording Engineer
Recorded at The Village, Los Angeles, CA on April 1, 2021 & July 5, 2021
Additional Recording at Exposition Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA
Mark Maryanovich, Photographer
Leilani Neder, Cover Design
LAYERS ALBUM REVIEW
Throughout his career, guitarist Shea Welsh has often played music that is very difficult to categorize. Born in Baltimore and based in Los Angeles, he has been utilized as a session musician and sidemen in a countless number of different settings, from jazz and rock to soundtracks for films and television shows. His previous album was a jazz set called Arrival and he has worked with Michelle Coltrane (appearing on her album Awakening), Ronnie Laws, and the Paul McDonald Big Band.
Knowing all of that does not prepare one for the music of Renaissance Heart, a group that consists of a nucleus trio with the versatile opera singer Hila Plitmann, tabla master Aditya Kalyanpur, and Welsh’s adaptable but personal guitar playing, Renaissance Heart is a World music group that blends together Indian music, Western classical, folk, rock, and jazz to create an unpredictable mixture of styles and genres. For their debut recording, Layers, Renaissance Heart welcomes a few guests (pianist John Beasley, bassist Sezin Ahmet Turkmenoglu, cellist Eru Matsumoto, and percussionists Ray Yslas and Taku Hirano) on some selections but the focus is primarily on the three group members.
The opening “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5” serves as an excellent introduction to the eclectic group with opera singing co-existing with tabla playing and Welsh’s guitar. The fusionish “Sancho T. Panza” gets into a groove a little reminiscent of part of Chick Corea’s “Spain” and features rockish guitar, haunting singing (often in unison with the guitar), and a superb tabla solo.
Other performances include a vocal feature on the folkish “Wildflower,” the atmospheric “Layers,” some dazzling singing on “The Art Of Conversation” that emulates rapid tabla playing, the episodic “Water,” and a charming waltz (“One More Tomorrow”). Kalyanpur takes a powerful tabla improvisation on his showcase with the percussionists on “Your Turn,” while Plitmann sings quite effectively on the pop song “Lean On.” To conclude the consistently intriguing set, “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair” is given a light Latin flavor and “Merry Christmas Mother Earth” introduces a heartfelt Xmas song.
On their debut recording, Renaissance Heart has succeeded in carving out its own place in the modern music world.