Ancient Future History: 1988 to 1998

The World Without Walls Period

Picture of Fifth Ancient Future Line Up
Photo by Irene Young of Ancient Future circa 1990. Shown: Matthew Montfort, Jim Hurley, Doug McKeehan, and Ian Dogole

In August of 1988, violinist Jim Hurley replaced Bruce Bowers. The resulting world jazz line up lasted for over 7 years and two recordings, and reunited for many concerts in the decades that followed.

After several tours on the West Coast, the group began working on its fifth release, World Without Walls. It features performances by Zakir Hussain, the master of the North Indian tabla. Working with Zakir Hussain brought the group full circle from its 1978 origins out of the musical scene surrounding Hussain's percussion group, the Diga Rhythm Band.

World Without Walls CD Cover

World Without Walls (Sona Gaia/MCA 163)
CD- $24.98 (out of print: collectable signed reconditioned copy): Add CD to Cart. Buy CD Now. >YTmusic.

Asian Fusion Media Report
World Without Walls Media Report (6.4 MB)

Ancient Future 11th Anniversary Concert, Yoshi's, 2/11/90 (& Reunion 6/7/11)

On February 11th, 1990, Ancient Future celebrated the 11th anniversary of its first concert with a performance at the famous Yoshi's Jazz Club and Japanese Restaurant at their original location on Claremont Ave. in Oakland. Olivia Howard took these fan shots at the show, which she shared with the band when she heard of the reunion concert featuring this same band lineup scheduled for the new Yoshi's in San Francisco, June 7, 2011.

Photo of Matthew Montfort performing with Ancient Future at Yoshi's, 2-11-90
(530 x 800 jpg, 424 k). 2/11/90 photo by Olivia Howard. Pictured: Matthew Montfort (flamenco guitar)

Photo of Matthew Montfort performing with Ancient Future at Yoshi's, 2-11-90
(530 x 800 jpg, 304 k). 2/11/90 photo by Olivia Howard. Pictured: Ian Dogole (African talking drum)

Articles Covering Ancient Future (1990 to 1992)

by John Diliberto

Contra Costa Times
Broadens Horizons
by Barbara Boughton

W.O.W. Hall
World Fusion Music
Notes from the Center

Talking Leaves
Creating a World Without Walls
by Matthew Montfort

SF Bay Gaurdian
Music Sans Borders
by Derk Richardson

JAZZIZ Article on World Fusion Contra Costa Times Article on Ancient Future's World Without Walls Recording and Concert Preview W.O.W. Hall Notes World Fusion Article and Preview of Ancient Future Concert Talking Leaves Article Creating a World Without Walls Through Music Bay Guardian Article Music Sans Borders
JAZZIZ Nov 90 Article (7.8 MB pdf) Contra Costa Times 11-9-90 Article (5.5 MB pdf) WOW Hall Notes March 91 Article (7.1 MB pdf) Talking Leaves June 91 Article (10.8 MB pdf) Bay Guardian 6-5-91 Article (5.2 MB pdf)

North Bay Today
Ancient Future
What's Happening Magazine

Tower Pulse
It's a Small World After All
by Linda Kohanov

shasta Arts Council
Best of All Worlds
by Lisa Whipp

Heartsong Review
World Fusion Music Interview
by Acacia

Roland Users Group
Ancient Futures
Random Noise

North Bay Today 7-1-91 Article on Ancient Future at Luther Burbank Center Tower Pulse Article It's a Small World After All Shasta County Arts Council Newsletter Article Ancient Future Best of All World's Heartsong Review Interview with Matthew Montfort Roland Users Group Feature on Ancient Future
North Bay Today July 91 Article (9.2 MB pdf) Tower Pulse July 91 Article (10.4 MB pdf) Shasta Arts Council Nov 91 Concert Publicity (3.1 MB pdf) Heartsong Review 3-21-92 Interview (5.1 MB pdf) Roland Users Group Sept 92 Feature (7.1 MB pdf)

The Asian Fusion Period

Picture of Chinese Zither Master, Zhao Hui
Chinese gu zheng master Zhoa Hui

At the end of an Ancient Future performance at the 1991 Sacramento River Jazz Festival, Matthew Montfort was introduced to China's top gu zheng (Chinese zither) master, Zhao Hui, by her husband, Shen Hsu. Montfort was invited over for dinner, and afterwards Ms. Zhao played. He was so captivated by what he heard that he took out his guitar. The sound of her gu zheng blended beautifully with the scalloped fretboard guitar, and a musical chemistry was immediately apparent.

This experience was the genesis for the Asian Fusion record. It inspired Montfort to further explore fusing ancient Asian and contemporary Western elements. Zhao Hui agreed to participate in Ancient Future's next set of shows. Montfort taught her some of the Ancient Future repertoire, while she taught him Dusk Song of the Fisherman (which they later recorded for Asian Fusion), an ancient Ching Dynasty theme expressing the joy of returning to the harbor at dusk, singing a happy song. When the first show began, Montfort was back stage as the crowd went absolutely wild for Zhao Hui's opening solo. For the first time in many years, he had a case of stage fright. He had been playing Chinese music for all of two days. In a few minutes, he was going to perform traditional Chinese music with China's preeminent master of the gu zheng. Would he be a let down after what she had already done? But the muse took over and they were into one of those rare moments in music when things click just right. The crowd gave them a standing ovation, and the concert tape even landed them a Touring Program grant from the California Arts Council.

The Asian Fusion album concept evolved to include other guest artists. One important artist on the release is Bui Huu Nhut, a leading performer of the Vietnamese dan bao, a one string instrument with an indigenous version of a whammy bar. Montfort saw Mr. Bui at the Festival of the Lake in Oakland, and was entranced by the sound of the instrument. The two became great friends and set about finding a way to perform together. Montfort wrote a piece called Ja Nam based on a Vietnamese folk song, but with a reggae beat. Montfort was able to learn about Vietnamese melody, and Bui learned about performing with Western instruments and rhythms. That is the beauty of cross-cultural exchange -- people learning from each other and growing in the process.

Asian Fusion CD Cover

Asian Fusion (Narada Equinox ND-63023)
CD- $24.98 (out of print: collectable signed reconditioned copy): Add CD to Cart. Buy CD Now. >YTmusic.

Asian Fusion Media Report
Asian Fusion Media Report (11.4 MB)

Articles Covering Ancient Future (1993 to 1994)

Un Mondo Senza Muri
by Cristina Palesi

New Jersey Courier-Post
It's a small world of music, after all
by Lawrence Grand

6/18/1993. 7/16/1993, 8/10/1993
One World Beat
by Jonathan E.

San Francisco Chronicle
by a Pink Section Music Editor

Russian River News
Back to the Future
by a Staff Reporter

1993 Cristina Palesi Feature in Suono New Jersey Courier-Post It's a Small World of Music Article 6/10/93 BAM Asian Fusion Reviews and Gig Coverage Summer 93 San Francisco Chronicle Pink Section Photo Headliner Russian River News Back to the Future Feature 6-23-1993
Suono 1993 Article (560 k pdf) New Jersey Courier-Post 6-10-93 Article (948 k pdf) BAM Summer 93 Coverage (16.7 MB pdf) SF Chronicle 6-20-93 Photo Feature (2.6 MB pdf) Russian River News 6-23-93 Featire (865 k pdf)
India Currents
The nine rasas in world fusion music
by Teed Rockwell

Philippine News
World fusion music festival
by a Staff Reporter

Sing Tao News
Ancient Future and Zhao Hui
by a Staff Reporter

The Beach News
Two bands with diverse sounds
by P.J. Grimes

World Journal
Zhao Hui Ancient Future Interview
by a Staff Reporter

India Currents Asian Fusion Nine Rasas Article July 93 Philippine News World Fusion Music Festival Article 7-21-93 Sing Tao News Ancient Future Zhao Hui Article 7-22-1993 The Beach News Asian Fusion Review and Ancient Future Article 7-29-93 World Journal Zhao Hui Interview 8-1-93
India Currents July 93 Article (1.2 MB pdf) Philippine News 7-21-93 Article (832 k pdf) Sing Tao News 7-22-93 Article (1.8 MB pdf) Beach News 7-29-93 Article (1.2 MB pdf) World Journal 8-1-93 Article (1 MB pdf)

Kentucky Mine Concert Review
Interpreting the World's Music
by Betty Sederquist

Ancient Future Releases 6th Album
by a Staff Reporter

San Francisco Chronicle
East and West Meet in Ancient Future
by Calvin Ahlgren

Marin Independent Journal
Ancient Future Photo Feature
by a Staff Reporter

Oakland Tribune/Alameda Times Star/Daily Review
Ancient Future Photo Feature
by a Staff Reporter

India West Article Ancient Future Releases It's India West Article Ancient Future Releases It's San Francisco Chronicle Pink Section Article East and West Meet in Ancient Future 8/15/93 Marin IJ Photo 8/17/93 Oakland Tribune Photo Feature 8-18-93
Betty Sederquist 8-3-93 Concert Review (2.1 MB pdf) India-West 8-13-93 Article (424 k pdf) SF Chronicle 8-15-93 Article (33 MB pdf) Marin IJ 8-17-93 Photo Feature (333 k pdf) Oakland Tribune 8-18-93 Photo Feature (456 k pdf)

San Francisco Chronicle
In Concert/Mention in Article
by Derk Richardson

Pacific Sun
East meets West with Ancient Future
by Greg Cahill

San Francisco Chronicle
Mention in WOMAD Article
by Michael Snyder

Secret Guide to Music
Just Like Novacain (Ed: Hilarious!)
by Biff Mockowski, D.D.S.

Tower Pulse! Top 10 List
Ancient Future absorbs Asian sounds
by John Diliberto

San Francisco Chronicle Pink Section In Concert and Mention in Trance Mission Article 8-22-93 Pacific Sun Article East meets West with Ancient Future 8/25/93 Pacific Sun Article East meets West with Ancient Future 8/25/93 Secret Guide to Music Comedic Dentist Review Oct-Nov 1993 Tower Pulse Ancient Future Absorbs Asian Sounds and Top 10 Lists Articles Nov-Dec 93
SF Chronicle 8-22-93 Listing & Article Mention (7 MB pdf) Pacific Sun 8-25-93 Article (10 MB pdf) SF Chronicle 9-12-93 WOMAD Article (4.9 MB pdf) Secret Guide Oct 93 Humor (676 k pdf) Tower Pulse! Nov-Dec 93 Articles (5.1 MB pdf)

Marin Independent Journal
Godfather of World Music
by a Staff Reporter

North Bay Spotlight
Ancient Future returns
by a Staff Reporter

Contra Costa Times
Future's vsion reaches far and wide
by Roberta Seabury

Oakland Tribune Cue
Ancient Future blends sounds
by Dave Becker

Guitar Player
April 94 Pick
by a Staff Reporter

Marin IJ Ancient Future Godfather of World Music 2-6-94 North Bay Spotlight Ancient Future 15th Anniversary Concerts 2-9-94 Contra Costa Times Future's Vision Reaches Far and Wide Article 2-11-94 Oakland Tribune Cue Article Ancient Future Blends Sounds 2-17-94 Guitar Player Magazine April 94 Pick
Marin IJ 2-6-94 Best Bet (848 k pdf) North Bay Spotlight 2-9-94 Article (2.5 MB pdf) Contra Costa Times 2-11-94 Article (1.2 MB pdf) Oakland Tribune 2-17-94 Article (3.8 MB pdf) Guitar Player April 94 Pick (1.2 MB pdf)

Reno Gazette-Journal
Asian Pacific Festival of Fortune
by a Staff Reporter

Ashland Daily Tidings
Ancient Future performs
by a Staff Reporter

Mount Shasta Herald
Ancient Future will perform
by a Staff Reporter

The Willits News
Ancient Future performs in Ukiah
by a Staff Reporter

New Avenues
Creating a World Without Walls
by Matthew Montfort

Asian Pacific Festival of Fortune Festival Guide by the Reno Gazette-Journal 5-20-94 Ashland Daily Tidings Ancient Future Appears Article 7-14-94 Mount Shasta Herald Ancient Future Will Perform World Fusion Music Concert Article 7-27-94 The Willits News Ancient Future Performs in Ukiah 9-30-94 New Avenues Creating a World Without Walls Through Music Article by Matthew Montfort 11-1-94
Reno Gazette-Journal 5-20-94 Festival Guide (9.9 MB pdf) Ashland Daily Tidings 7-14-94 Article (648 k pdf) Mt. Shasta Herald 7-27-94 Article (684 k pdf) Willits News 9-30-94 Article (1.1 MB pdf) New Avenues Nov 94 Article (2.2 MB pdf)