Personnel: William Ackerman (guitar, piano); Charles Bisharat (violin); Kifu Mitsuhashi (shakuhachi flute); Jill Haley (oboe); Philip Aaberg, Allaudin Mathieu (piano); Chuck Greenberg (lyricon, synthesizer); Michael Manring (fretless bass).
Recorded at Studio D, Sausalito, California and Different Fur Recording, San Francisco, California.
Liner Note Author: Will Ackerman.
1988's IMAGINARY ROADS is one of guitarist William Ackerman's finest albums, and the one where the new instruments Ackerman had been slowly adding to his sound through the '80s finally jelled with his distinctive playing. The result is that even on the duet pieces, Ackerman and his musical partners sound and feel like an actual band, not a composer and his sidemen.
Interesting additions like shakuhachi flute, oboe, and fretless bass join the usual synthesizers, piano and violins, giving a variety and depth to the arrangements which is sometimes missing from Ackerman's more monochromatic earlier albums. Fascinatingly, the albums concludes with very different alternate takes of "Darrow's Barn" and "If You Look," showing that Ackerman and his musicians are as attuned to nuances in different performances as a set of fine jazz musicians.