On November 20 and 21, 2010, maverick record label Abstract Logix hosted a series of spectacular performances, featuring an array of artists who handily defy genre categorization in favor of unbridled expression. The first New Universe Music Festival, primarily sponsored by Godin Guitars and DIY Music was a die-hard music lover's dream, defined by artists who seamlessly mingle compositional ingenuity and improvisational grace and fervor.
A 2 DVD Compilation featuring the music on the CD, along with over 60 minutes of the grand finale Jam tribute to John McLaughlin featuring all the artists of the festival along with behind the scenes footage and extensive interviews will be released on September 20, 2011.
The release features pioneering guitarist John McLaughlin and his current band the 4th Dimension with special guest, world music legend tabla maestro Zakir Hussain; Widespread Panic guitar hero Jimmy Herring with his electric band; Return to Forever Drummer Lenny White; the all-star quartet Human Element (keyboardist Scott Kinsey, bassist Matt Garrison, percussionist Arto Tunçboyaciyan; fearless guitarist and improviser Wayne Krantz appearing with the amazing Anthony Jackson on bass; visionary Indian composer and drummer Ranjit Barot; and emerging guitar visionary Alex Machacek.
"The final guitarist on the album is the Mahavishnu himself, John McLaughlin. His band, the Fourth Dimension, is a tight and nimble unit that can change directions at will as if all the members are a single organism. It will take most listeners some time to work through both discs, but the chance to hear the evolution of jazz/rock guitar in a live setting is well worth the investment." - Premier Guitar
"The New Universe Music Festival brought together an astonishing roster of legendary and upcoming jazz-fusion musicians-especially guitarists-in an intimate setting charged with excitement. As might be expected, the music was superb, culminating in a heartfelt tribute to fusion and world music pioneer John McLaughlin. I look forward to attending the next NUMF, though the first one will be very tough to top." -Barry Cleveland, Guitar Player
JazzTimes editor Lee Mergner attended the festival, observing, "It was a veritable smorgasbord of fusion, with many of the top-notch artists in the genre coming together for a series of performances. Jazz-rock fans attending the inaugural event heard legends like John McLaughlin and Lenny White, established names such as Wayne Krantz, Human Element and Jimmy Herring, as well as up-and-comers like Alex Machacek and Ranjit Barot. From start to finish, the music was electric, even when it was being played acoustically. There was also a palpable sense of community as artists generously participated in listening sessions and sat in with each other throughout the event. I highly recommend this festival and look forward to seeing and hearing its second incarnation in 2012."