MUSIC REVIEWS
By Chuck Diliberto

 

 

Circle Of Fire
Benjy Wertheimer
Ancient-Future Records
Musicians are generally very personal and passionate about their music. The music is reflective of their soul’s vision and their ability to express that vision. Benjy Wertheimer, percussionist and multi-instrumentalist, has learned how to affect the central nervous system with poly-rhythms and layered percussive beats to promote a deep groove that is both Spiritual and danceable.

The music is very infectious, causing the body to gyrate and shake automatically the moment the sound hits your ears. Wertheimer is very aware of the sound he is producing and the resultant affect it has on the listener and himself. The music is reminiscent of the approach the Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, Airto Moriera, and Zakir Hussain amongst others, have applied to their compositions; listenable, danceable, and deeply Spiritual. The amazing effect this type of music has does not diminish even during the quieter passages, the funky groove is still very thick, just less kinetic.

he “Circle Of Fire” that  Wertheimer refers to is of the feelings evinced by his music and the energy field that is created once this music has entered into your body. It feels like you are surrounded by a bright shiny sun of energy that burned brightly into your soul, illuminating all possibilities of interaction with body movement and soul exploration. His percussion playing is dynamically interpretive of living without limitations and restrictions, yet he is still able to place this reality with-in the context of musical composition.

Wertheimer has gathered an ensemble of musicians that includes his wife Heather, who are fully capable of extrapolating his vision musically and Spiritually. The music is a fusion of many recognizable styles that are indelibly stamped and infused with Benjy Wertheimer’s energy and dedication to his art form. A definite keeper.

For more information please call (888) 823-8887.

 

Music For The Spirit,
Volume 4
Various Artists
Domo Records
We have all been exposed to music in our lives. There are many forms and variations of theme playing around us as we go about our daily lives. We are almost bombarded with music as we walk through grocery stores, department stores, doctor’s offices, and malls. Most of the music we are hearing is very familiar and easy to block out if we so choose. Every now and then a song will stand out from the others, catching our full attention as we listen raptly to that familiar sound that may release a host of memories we have gathered along the journey of our lives.

The songs of “Music For The Spirit” have the same attention- catching ability. The music is richly laden with sonic textures that are designed to carry us out of the doldrums of day-to-day existence, delivering us to the ethereal world of Spirit and Angel’s wings. Visionary soundscapes float into our consciousness, harkening pastoral scenes where elves and fairies frolic in the tall grasses.

The music is light and airy as flutes and synthesizers lift us off the ground to swirl in a transcendent myst of sonorous clouds and vapors. Multi-layered rhythmic drumming provided by Nigerian drum chant master Suru lent a trance dance flavor to the mix. Suru’s organic drumming was the perfect grounding platform to help us soar effortlessly through the etheric compositions.

Kitaro, Nawang Khechog, and Dave Eggar are some of the other artists who have lent their talents and inimitable Spirit to this musical collection. The music of soul and Spirit is a beautiful way of releasing stress and accessing the divine realm within all of us, all we have to do is sit back and listen.

For more information please call  (310) 966-4414  X6.

 

Dance Of Life
Xumantra
First Light Music
Xumantra is the heart child of multi-instrumentalist Marco Dolce. Dolce’s background is in music theory and Jazz guitar playing and teaching. His compositions are bolstered with the fluid motion of Jazz music phrasing combined with the poly-rhythmic layering of exotic percussive instruments.

Marco Dolce has created a flow of consciousness musical conversation. Each instrument is allowed to explore and interpret the rich melodies inherent in his compositions. The music speaks from the soul of the individual players. Their musical voices weave around a central theme to create a synergistic view of Dolce’s original musical vision. The music began to find its own way, expanding and pulsing within the invisible oneness of Dolce’s visionary soul.

The “Dance Of Life” can be interpreted in many ways. The most obvious, being moved to dance and express ourselves through movement. There is also the musical dance of instruments finding their steps in wide-open melodic spaces that vacillate from sparse to busy.

The musicians themselves brought their own dance of life to the mix, similar to Marco Dolces’, yet individual and personal. This is how the dance of life works for all of us. We are all moving in the same ocean of life, individual currents but still part of the greater whole. Dolce did a great job of expressing this experience through his music without forcing or pretending to make it happen. Very nice.

For more information please call (661) 255-7598.

 

Joy Of It
Jenny Bird
Earthlight Records
Jenny Bird is one of those rare performers who does not hide her vocal or musical roots of inspiration. The comparisons are innumerous and mostly contemporary, yet Bird stands on her own when it comes to attitude and expression. Her songs are unique tellings of the chapters in her life. She has no qualms about getting down and dirty with her feelings about herself or others in her life. Her lyrics read like poetry, flowing with emotion and the inevitable search for soul and Spiritual meaning.

She has bridged the gap of singer/songwriter to performer extraordinaire. It takes a lot of energy to convey the degree of tension needed to express her allegorical tone poems. Bird steps right into the fray with an unabashed flair of confidence and revelation. All is sacred to her, but nothing is sacred enough that she can’t write a song about it.

Jenny Bird is truly an original. Her voice is both plaintive and expressive, rising and falling with her emotional register. She has the rare ability to express vocal emotions in a natural way, touching our hearts with tinges of frustration, sadness, happiness and joy. There is a Spiritual irony that underlies a lot of her songs. She is in touch with her feelings but looking for something else to occur. It is almost as if her songs will change every time she performs them to encapsulate the changes that are ongoing inside of her.

Jenny Bird stands out in a sea of some remarkable female singer/songwriters. She has definitely blazed her own path, earning all of the accolades ascribed to her by various people in the music industry. She is the epitome of someone who has worked very hard at her craft, even though her talent to express her heart and soul ostensibly has come easy. A definite must have!

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

 

Daylight, Moonlight
Live in Yakushiji Kitaro
Domo Records
Kitaro and his music has been a mainstay of my reviews for over seven years. He is a very special person, taking delight in sharing his Spirituality, music and light with everyone he meets. In  “Daylight, Moonlight” Kitaro traveled to Nara, Japan to perform in the holy temple of Yakushiji. Yakushiji is the resting place of the ashes of the Genjo Sanzo, a 17th century monk who walked the silk road from Japan to India and back. Genjo brought back the sacred texts that introduced Buddhism into China and Japan.

Kitaro, aware of the significance of playing at a holy site, immersed his soul in the energy of the temple to channel the splendor and awe of divine Creation. From the opening chants of the Monk’s introduction, to the last notes of  “Heaven and Earth,” this double CD set expressed an intimacy of emotion and feeling that evoked the true Spirit of God.

The Spirit of this moment also had a profound effect upon the members of Kitaro’s ensemble. Their souls resonated with each other, sensitively playing each note in epic fashion, delivering touching renditions of many well-known Kitaro compositions. The energy of this concert is simply amazing, transcendent, and crystalline. The energy of Genjo was vibrating with the music, creating an ethereal glow that could be heard, felt, and tasted, transporting us to a place of majesty and beauty where the jewel of life shone with an unparalleled brilliance. Great stuff indeed!

For more information please call (310) 966-4414.

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 and right living in practice.


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