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Deja Vu (1996)

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Fareed Haque

Blue Note continues its intriguing series of jazz recordings offering beginning to end covers of influential '70s pop albums with Fareed Haque's masterful take on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Deja Vu, which draws upon the classical guitarist's jazz fusion chops as well as the Latin and Middle Eastern colors that comprise his own ethnic background. Treating the quartets' folksy melodies as blueprints, Haque takes a largely unplugged trip through a sequence of tunes just begging for out-there, almost avant-garde, adventures. He plays it safe a few times, most notably on a lovely but bland reading of "Our House," preferring most of the time to delve deeper into the rhythmic possibilities of the rich legacy. Ron Perillo's electric piano adds a Doors-like retro acid trip effect to the free for all jamming of "Carry On" and "Woodstock," while Haque challenges himself stylistically with everything from laid-back blues riffs to graceful flamenco runs. ~ Jonathan Widran