MUSIC REVIEWS
By Chuck Diliberto

 

 

 

Ethereal Journey
Ray
Ray Leonard Records
We are miles above the earth, looking down in awe at the “big blue marble”, we have a decision to make, should we return home or turn around and venture into the vast unknown of space.  This is the conundrum of Ray Leonard’s “Ethereal Journey.”

The journey is comprised of inward and outward explorations of Ray’s synthesizer interpretations of his Spiritual dreamworld.  Waves  of sounds meander to the edge of known reality, pulsing and reverberating into unknown realms.  A place where the familiar and unfamiliar merge to form an entrance into Ray’s existential world of textured and layered musical inspirations. Music to dream by , just let go, float in a multicolored stream  of consciousness, drifting on the wings of angels as solar winds transport the listener back to the Earth,  or beyond the senses to virgin territory.  A territory where love, imagination, and truth beckon to be discovered. It is interesting how music has the ability to affect our souls. In this case to transport us beyond the mundanity of physical existence, beyond fear, anger or chaos, beyond a society mad in its’ quest for revenge, beyond our leaders skewed vision of freedom and unity, and beyond our own conditioning as members of a disillusioned conformity.

Ray Leonard has created a special awareness with “Ethereal Journey.” The ability to shift our focus upon new perspectives of feeling is much needed, especially feelings removed from the day-to-day grind. Excellent offering.

For more information, please call (661) 254-2984.

 

Breath of the Heart
Krishna Das
Karuna

Love and devotion are the keys to unlock the divine realm within each of us.  In “Breath of the Heart”, Krishna Das offers those keys through sweet chants and beautifully-crafted rhythmic music.  Das has created a breathtaking masterpiece of subtlety.  His sincerity is intoxicating and enchanting, childlike and pure. In his heart the seed of the divine has sprouted, growing outward and becoming the soul of humankind, perfect in its imperfections, human yet divine.

Krishna Das (Jeffrey Kagel) spent years in India at the feet of Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji) searching for his place in the divine scheme of life.  He stumbled upon devotional chanting through a synchronistic turn of events that left him struggling with his own identity and the path of service.  This situation eventually led to the release of “Breath of the Heart”, a fully mature extropolation  of devotional hymns  predicated to opening the heart to the truth of divine love, insight and wisdom.

The music is a tapestry of Indian-flavored beats  (tabla, finger cymbals, and various other percussive instruments) combined with the western influence of guitars, bass, Hammond B3 , piano, cello, and harmonium.  The chorus is handled by the Kosmic Kirtan Posse, a group of vocalists who  deftly and sensitively compliments Krishna Das through his journey of love and devotion.

The chants are traditional Indian chants  sung with a western sensibility for timing and expression, herein Krishna Das really shines.  His delivery is effortless, melodic and heartfelt, chanting the many names of God  with dignity and grace.  This CD is a must have.

For more information, please call (310) 456-9063.

 

Nature Goddess
Ancient Brotherhood
Astro Music
The prescience of the Goddess energy is currently enjoying a reawakening.  A reestablishing of that all important balance in all of our lives is taking place.  The Goddess energy represents the ability to step back, passively, submissively, yet without losing the identity  of strength or firmness.  The Goddess is present within each of  us, yin to yang, as we discover the true nature of our divine personality and character.

In “Nature Goddess”, musicians Andrew Alvarez  (flutes, percussion, keyboards, vocals, and sound effects) and Enrique Cardenas (flutes, percussion,  bamboo sax and vocals) have combined their Spiritual sensitivities to produce and ambient exploration of the many representations of the Goddess energies associated with the earth.  Each song flows with a passion and sensuality as female vocalists chant hymns that sublimely express the Goddess energy. Contemporary and traditional musical influences abound. The musicianship of Alvarez and Cardenas sustained the necessary mystique needed to maintain the fertile offerings of the Goddess energy.  The earth is ripe with this energy, allowing life to grow and prosper in perfect balance with the elements of nature.

The overall effect of “Nature  Goddess”  represents  a tribute to the ability to heal and rejoice in the Spirit of the divine plan.  The merging of the God and Goddess energy within the Earth moving outward to touch and revitalize all denizens of this planet.  Mother Earth as a living entity, capable of nurturing and guiding it’s children to grow in love and togetherness is captured on this exquisite offering by Ancient Brotherhood.

For more information, please call (800) 288-2007, ext. 2027

 

Flowers
Kevin Kendle
New World Music
The Earth is truly a beautiful planet, awe-inspiring, breathtaking and majestic. The resplendid natural grace and magnificence of the Earth’s flowers behold Kevin Kendle’s muse. Kendle wandered through his flower garden, stopping to observe and feel the divinity radiating from each petal and stem. His heart and soul opened to the subtle definition of divine creation contained in each flower, moving Kendle to express feelings through his multi-instrumental musical talents and ambition.

The music is sweet and gentle, set to the tone of cascading piano notes, various horns and strings combined with guitar and ethereal flute playing. Kendle tweaks the listener’s imagination, leaving room for dancing elves and faeries revelling in the brightly hued auras shining through the flowers to create nature’s playground. You can feel time dissolve, standing in bright sunlight as a whispering summer breeze caresses the flowers.

The simplicity of Kendle’s melodies is set in motion to describe his soul’s vision and interpretation of eight different flowers. Each song captures the delicateness, intricacies, and complexities of the flowers. Kendle is careful though not to rush the music, cautiously maintaining a super-fine balance of ease and intensity, daring not to lose the perfection of his muse. “Flowers” is a natural statement that explored the artist and his art coming together to share in the finer moments of existence. Lovely!

For more information, please call   (888) 476-8745.

 

Scenic Listening
Kevin Wood
New Vision Music
In every artist’s life there is an unquenchable urge to express the deepest meaning of their soul’s experience and existence. The encountering of stimuli (inspirations), both internal and external is the challenge and defining moment for the artist’s muse. The high point is to create magic, instill awe, or carry the person away from the ordinary to someplace special, removed, but not isolated from the day to day grind. In “Scenic Listening”, Kevin Wood follows the artist’s path of describing the indescribable by placing visual experiences to music.

Each song is a thickly layered composition of grand piano, guitar and synthesizer sounds. Wood has created a soundscape that is supported by orchestral strings, horns and flutes. He has developed a musical imagery rich in textures and dense in feelings and intuition. The music swirls, looking for direction, falling back on beautiful melodies, to rise again, evoking visual panoramas of nature.

The songs are playful expose’s of Wood’s vivid imagination and soul exploration. He invokes the astral plane to carry his sonic vision into realms of synesthesia, quietly pushing the boundaries as he reaches for new parameters to entertain his muse. “Scenic Listening” is a portrayal of an artist in search of his holy grail, leaving no stone unturned, Wood forges through the mists of Avalon, waiting, trusting, listening, seeing.

For more information, please call  (512) 832-5084.

Chuck Diliberto is a resident of New York state. Having written for a hometown publication that covered local and national musicians, reviewing CDs is an extension of that experience. His main interests are spiritual in nature in right living in practice.


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