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Adrian Quesada (feat. Neal Francis), 'Starry Nights'

It has been a banner year for Adrian Quesada. Following his widely acclaimed album Boleros Psicodélicos, he released a second, all-instrumental collection in 2022, Jaguar Sound, which includes "Starry Nights" — a rhythmic meditation born of Quesada's nocturnal bike rides, gazing skyward. It is a song that continues Quesada's penchant for combining seemingly disparate elements and collaborating with artists from a wide span of genres.

With every passage, there is a tension and release; a feeling of being transported to other worlds while never leaving your seat; a sweet and sour, beginning with minor key organ followed by bright harp lines from Mary Lattimore. Single guitar notes echo like unseen owls in the darkness as the leisurely melody rolls forward, folding in percussion, layers of violin from Alexis Buffum, piano from Neal Francis and sweet, soulful guitar riffs from Quesada himself.

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Joe Kendrick