Album Review of
The Road Not Taken

Written by Joe Ross
May 23, 2019 - 12:00am EDT
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Multi-instrumentalist and producer Johno (aka John Keating) prefers a road less traveled for his first solo album. Originally a jazz performer, Johno now has eclectic tastes that have led him into explorations of Classical, Arabic, African and Balkan music. Although based on the Greek coast, Johno travels a lot.  For this “ethno-jazz” album, he worked with artists in many countries and arranged the music with a conscious respect for traditional melodies, advanced jazz harmonies, and classical counterpoint. Lyrics are drawn from English poetry from Shakespeare to Robert Frost, Lord Byron to Rudyard Kipling. Johno’s musical interpretations of these poems reflect his discovery of hidden melodies and beautiful meters within them. Byron’s “Made for Loving” incorporates a well-known and popular Arabic melody. The music for Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” became a pleasing composition in 5/4 with thoughtful Greek traditional flavor after Johno collaborated with musician and friend Nikos Mixalodimitrakis. “The Long and Winding Road” was arranged in ⅞ and recorded in Jordan with a Turkish orchestra. Shakespeare’s “Summer Day” is smooth jazz. Paul Simon’s “Homeward Bound” has a plaintive Celtic flavor. A unique arrangement that may be a bit overwhelming for some is John Denver’s “Country Road,” [sic] recorded with Arabic riffs in 7/8 time with a Tunisian orchestra on 200 tracks of instruments, vocal harmonies, and percussion. I’m happy that Johno has taken a worldly musical path that is less traveled. To establish his unique, signature sound, it makes all the difference. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)