Carl Orr




Restraint and tension are two sides of the same coin. Musicians holding something in reserve are a bit like dogs on a leash, and the very sense of anticipation induced helps spark the listener’s imagination. This restraint can also maximise the air around the notes, and therefore the starkness of those notes. In the case of guitarist Carl Orr’s ninth solo album, the restraint deepens the implied yearning of the album’s title – a reference to Orr’s being based in London, and therefore separated from his Australian family for 24 years.

A sense of journeying is implicit throughout, too. Each composition sweeps you off into a different sound-world, from the Ghanian-influenced Winds of West Africa (aerated by Bex Burch’s marimba-like gyill) to the Indian flavour of Thom Yorke’s Analyse (with sitar and tabla), and on to the more Arabic Ride the Camel (with oud). Taking us between destinations is the beckoning array of sounds and tender or incandescent lines flying from Orr’s guitar. The title track features the great Bennie Maupin on soprano saxophone, and, in one of the ruptures of the prevailing restraint, drummer Billie Cobham joins for the high-energy Fayah.