Free As a Bird is the much-anticipated follow-up to Omar's 2002 release, Opal Fire. Exotic, sensual, and brimming with life, it was worth the wait! Richly arranged and orchestrated by David Dial and Gregg Karukas, real instruments replace some of the keyboards from the earlier release, and the interaction of great musicians such as violinist Charlie Bisharat (one of my all-time favorites!), Ramon Stagnaro on guitar, Gregg Karukas on keyboards and percussion, and Pedro Eustache on flute makes the music even more exciting. It is impossible to not think of Yanni's best work when listening to Omar. International flavors and a strong, optimistic spirit ignite the upbeat pieces, and the quieter songs are full of heart and passion. Quite simply, this is a GREAT album!