From the very first moment that I listened to a CD entitled Passing Through, I knew that jazz is one of America's greatest exports and is just as universal. Listening to guitarist E. Shawn Qaissaunee (kay-saw'-nee) a native of Kabul, Afghanistan, I was immediately struck by the crisp fresh sound that reverberated from his music. This being is third release, he is obviously a seasoned veteran when it comes to the idea of lyrically displaying a sound that is uniquely qualified to be different. With an approach that is etched in the annals of jazz/funk, Passing Through goes beyond the confines of a single style; in fact, Shawn touches upon a variety of influences, including contemporary jazz. With that being said, one is immediately struck by the versatility and breadth of talent Qaissaunee possesses.
As a composer, E. Shawn Qaissaunee is very creative in approach. Although his self-described creative juices are seemingly on the cutting edge of funk, Passing Through is an improvisational conduit for something better. With a quartet that is just as eclectic as his sound, Shawn's sophisticated writing is melodic and dynamic. The CD is full of upbeat rhythms and simple grooves, as it projects a flavor that is energetic and fluid. Overall, E. Shawn Qaissaunee's ability to transcend the confines of a single style of music speaks volumes of his skills as an artist. Passing Through is just another indication of things to come from this artist. This is a voice that we can expect to hear more of in the days ahead.