Places In Arizona is a concept record from Arizona native Joe Jakob, who has developed his own deeply spiritual approach to music that has grown out of his Southwestern environment. Prior to this record, Joe had already made a name for himself with his co-op projects with Native American artists on the Canyon Records label, providing atmospheric backdrops for their work on traditional instruments.
Each track of “Places In Arizona” is named after some amazing place in Arizona. "Arcosanti" is an experimental city that exists in center of Arizona. "Highway 2" is some of the most remote two lane road in America, leading to "Second Mesa", the ancestral home of the Hopi Indians. "Gila Bend" is an town barely bigger than an intersection, and "Echo Canyon" in central Phoenix was at one time a very sacred Native American Indian Community, where the artist's childhood home is. The disc's arrangement is such that the record feels like an audio road trip through this widely diverse landscape that the Hopis regard as the spiritual center of North America.
Vital Weekly: "Go to Arizona, get a car and let the album become the soundtrack for cruising the natural landscapes. Alternatively just take a lean back at home and enjoy this excellent album of ambient beauty."
Bill Binkelman / Wind and Wire: "Without a doubt, one of the top releases of 2002 and, as far as I'm concerned, a must have for serious lovers of the broad category of music that is labeled ambient these days."
Mark Teppo / Earpollution: "We need documents like this for every region of the world, recordings which translate space into sound, turning vistas and landscapes into symphonic explorations of ambient music and rhythm."