By the time of this 1978 album Japanese guitarist Ryo Kawasaki, had long established himself on the international scene, having worked and recorded with the likes of Gil Evans, Elvin Jones, and Cedar Walton. The album includes an exquisite mix of acoustic guitar solos and top-notch jazz fusion, with saxophone giant Dave Liebman (Elvin Jones, Miles Davis ’71-’74, Lookout Farm) at Ryo’s side. Bassist Alex Blake (Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders) and drummer Buddy Williams (Cedar Walton, David Sanborn) supply the drive. There’s a hint of Iberia in the tempestuous Nature’s Revenge, with exciting exchanges between soprano sax and electric guitar. Kawaski and Liebman reflect on Body and Soul in a tenor-guitar duo, while Ryo’s solo acoustic guitar rendition of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Choro expresses the composer’s mix of classical and Brazilian folk. Liebman’s The Straw That Broke the Lion’s Back has the quartet in a mellow Latin mood. Blake’s down-home fender bass brings in Thunderfunk, as the solos storm over the deep and dirty groove. Kawasaki once again picks up his acoustic guitar for a superb interpretation of Villa-Lobos’ Preludio No. 2, then introduces Sandstorm with a sedate pavane-styled prelude on acoustic guitar before rushing into a fusion whirlwind. Ryo says of the Indian scale used in the second ‘bluesy’ section of the piece, “This scale is universal. Everybody can relate to it. Ravi Shankar could play on it, but also John Coltrane; B. B. King could. Since the message is universal, I think the music must be too.” Amen to that.