From lots of decibels we migrated to the subtlety of the oud in the capable hands of Mehmet Polat's The Promise. Here the Arabian lute is joined by a multitude of musicians all adding their own flavor to the mix. Instruments like the tanbur, kemanche and ney color the acoustic landscape which changes when flamenco influences enter like on "Permission" where the kemanche too plays a prominent role. Next to flamenco, Mehmet Polat also invites Jazz and African modes into his musical collage. That's all still pretty common for eclectic world music and indeed wonderfully done but what to expect from running an oud through a series of effect pedals? In "Symbolizations", Mehmet used a variety and to our surprise it works wonders since he does so in moderation.

Numen is the title of Mélodie Gimard’s album we played next. Born in France, this classical trained pianist resides in Barcelona today. On Numen she combines classical with Jazz and Flamenco not only in her own compositions but performances. For the latter she cooperates with various vocalists and instrumentalists from Spain and Cuba. Every track is a feast and the variations in each make the whole album extremely attractive. The main singer is Matias Lopez Expósito 'El Mati' and his raw intense style pulls the listener right in from the very first song. For us this album is one of the best of the year.

Johannes Zetterberg is another artist who has adopted the Jazz Rock genre.

Amongst others, this bassist on the album Painter’s Portrait is joined by Bob Mintzer on EWI and saxophone, Brandon Fields on saxophone and keyboardist Steve Weingart. Though Jazz Rock is often associated with Chick Corea, Weather Report, the Yellowjackets and David Sanborn, Zetterberg has a definite voice of his own to take the genre into the current era.

Frans Bronzwaer is a Dutch multi instrumentalist who proves to be one heck of a chameleon on his album In the Meantime. All 15 tracks lead with guitar but the variety of arrangements prevents sameness. This is neither Smooth Jazz nor Jazz Rock but falls somewhere between. On the downside, the drumming is a bit too straightforward for our tastes. For the rest however, the album is the token of a passionate music maker.

Elias Nardi, Daniele Di Bonaventura and Ares Tavolazzi were next on oud, bandeneon and bass. Mix their musical backgrounds into original compositions and call the resultant album Ghimel. It is the combination of Oriental themes, Latin phrasing and Jazz improv that makes this Italian trio so exciting.

Of course we played many more recordings with the Bakoon AMP-13R. These simply represent our latest music finds we wanted to share. Next to the generous bandwidth of the little amp, we very much liked its willingness to play music at lower levels without loosing any information. There still was plenty of bass, midrange tone galore and highs in perfect balance. Next to being very even, the sound was rich in tonality and transparent without any smears. Listening for hours on end was no problem but sheer delight!