A meeting of minds, cultures and genres has resulted in the self-titled debut of Opaluna (Ridgeway), a stirring duo combining samba, salsa, rock, folk, swing, modern jazz and world into a cohesive whole. Mexican-American guitarist Luis Salcedo and Columbian vocalist Susana Pineda's 10-track hour should blow your mind as the hippies of their home town of San Francisco liked to say.
Jeff Denson, 39, might be too brilliant for his own good. The music he writes on 'Concentric Circles' (Ridgeway Records) is so difficult to play-and oftentimes to listen to-that one must clear away the detritus of everyday life to make room for it in your brain's ear.
Ratatet's 'Arctic' debut (Ridgeway Records) comes out of San Francisco fully formed. OK, fine, hold a gun to my head and I'll have to admit it's jazz. But with a front line consisting of trombone and electric bassoon, the SOUND is so scintillatingly different and passionate, let's for once throw away the concept of genre, shall we?