MUSIC REVIEWS
By Chuck Diliberto


A DIFFERENT MOZART
A Contemporary Collection
Imaginary Road Records
The enigma that is Johann Chry-sostom Wolfgang Theophilus (Ama-deus) Mozart is revisited in "A Different Mozart". Mozart's music defies classification, calling it classical or era music demeans the transcendent nature of his melodies. His music originates from a place that is free of construction and boundaries. Mozart's genius is not just his compositions, but his ability to express a part of himself that is ostensibly inaccessible to most composers. The music is inspiring, the flow and mood contemporary, the melodies ageless.

The flexibility inherent in Mozart's music easily lends itself to jazz or popular interpretations. Each musician did a fine job of creating one emotional foundation from which to work. The notes became droplets of feeling, cascading in moody resonance. The collective artists drew from Mozart's most famous works, including Lacrymosa from Requiem, "Love So Sincere" from Cosi Fan Tutte and Romanza from Serenade No. 13 in G, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

It is understandable why the "Contemporary Collection" of Mozart's music was chosen. This is a musician's dream to have creative license with such profoundly eloquent music. Each rendition portrayed the ingenuity and musical skillfulness of the performing artists. Relying on their creativity and Mozart as the muse, a new perspective was brought to the music. Simply stated, beautiful!

For more information, write to Imaginary Road Records, RR #1, Box 158, Brattleboro, VT 05301.

MY PEOPLE
Joe Zawinul
Escapade Music
Joe Zawinul's "My People" has placed international music into a completely fresh context. Zawinul has brought together a mix of musicians and vocalists who are obviously his friends, and through his production and arrangement has created a heterogeneous pastiche of sound and cultural values.

The American listener is provided an opportunity to hear a musical project that blends a fascinating amount of diverse energies with an equally diverse amount of human cultural perspectives. The dynamics of creativity and spontaneity permeate every track on this CD. The lyrical contents range from having "Tea with Grandpa"; to setting the soul free through dance and having fun, "Mi Gente"; and to the ever prevalent reality that we live on a planet devoid of human compassion and ripe with manipulation and control, "Bimoya".

The influence of western jazz is a suitable nexus for the vast array of multi-cultural music forms being presented here. The flavor is decidedly eclectic. often fast paced and touching upon the poly-rhythms and syncopated drum beats that lead to dancing. There are no rock stars on "My People". This is a musician's CD, music for the sake of making music.

In the end "My People" is an expression of the tormented soul of the third world population, albeit with compassion and true emotion; the plight of these people can not be ignored when we realize that most "mainstream" America music is relating the same information.

For more information, call (610) 825-9698.

OPEN CIRCLE
Kevin Locke (Tokeya Inajin)
Makoche
The Native American wood flute carries within its tone the song of Creation. Kevin Locke's flute playing is his mantra, earthy yet ethereal. Locke, through his flute, majestically relates the important issues and symbols of his life. His customs, traditions and music form a beautiful mosaic, each piece constituting the whole, his very life and Spirituality.

There is a haunting, imminent feel to some of his songs (prayers). Locke's flute playing achingly tells many stores. "Cherish Grandmother" and "Bring It to Me" are seen from the eyes of a child; "Open Circle" and "I'm Having A Hard Time" pour from the seeker's eyes. Kevin Locke uses no electronic synthesizers of any kind on this CD, instead rare instruments such as a didjeridu (Australian Aborignal), a berimbau (Brazil) and an assortment of percussion instruments, the dun-dun (West Africa), apetemma (Ghana), boula (Haiti), and an udu (Nigeria) blend together to narrate a unique musical story.

Listening to music of this nature opens us to a powerful vehicle of soul movement. In the music's simplicity, Kevin Locke transports us to sacred land, that divine territory that has no borders or set area. We go there through our feelings and intuition, through a door that Locke opens wide enough for all those who care to venture in. In the context of Spirituality for all peoples, it matters not the path you choose to follow, i.e. Native American, Aboriginal, Buddhist, etc., but the sharing of the experience along the way. Kevin Locke's "Open Circle" is that sharing.

For more information, call (701) 223-7316.

YOSEMITE JOURNEY
(Music for Hiking)
Clark Murray Tuolumme Tunes
In "Yosemite Journey" Clark Murray has combined his joy of exploring Yosemite National Park with his keyboard synthesizer prowess. His background as a church organist and piano bar entertainer are very obvious in his arrangements and influences. The music could easily be used as a soundtrack for documentaries, movies or animations. It also reminded me of the music you would sometimes hear at roller rinks.

Each song was composed to capture a momentous event or natural site within Yosemite. The music is light, airy and jumpy; the sound is very busy, lending itself as a motivation tool for the hiker. You could say the music had happy feet. This is not music to listen to if your intention is to be inactive.

It is obvious that Clark Murray is deeply touched by Yosemite. It would be interesting to listen to this music in the described places these song titles refer to . . . "Bridal Veil Fall", "Night on Kuna Crest" and "Storm over Sawtooth Ridge". If you close your eyes you can envision the beauty and majesty of the park. Yosemite National Park is Clark Murray's muse, his synthesizers his eyes, we the listeners his ears.

For more information, call (714) 854-6373.

SONGS OF THE SPIRIT
Robin Spielberg
North Star Music
In "Songs of the Spirit", Robin Spielberg takes us on a sentimental journey. Her music is personal and reflective, allowing the listener to read her thoughts and feel the root of her emotions. Spielberg uses the piano as an instrument of emotional expression, vision and heart communication. You could hear the long hours she has put into her playing, mastering a hard technique that perfected a counterpoint between the melody and the lead. In this manner Robin carried on a conversation with herself, her highest self at that.

The music had a misty quality about it, as if rain or perhaps teardrops were gently falling. The spectre of a little girl looking through lace curtains waiting for the rain to subside was always prevalent. Back inside the mist Spielberg's light would flicker and shine. Her elusive heart would play hide and seek behind the melodies, peering out for a glimpse with a flourish of notes, only to fade back within a seam in the music. Sometimes melancholy, sometimes sad, but forever waiting for that moment when the rain lets up.

Robin Spielberg is a piano virtuoso, her music the stairway to freedom. If you enjoy original compositions for solo piano that provide a personal flair and mood, then "Songs of the Spirit" is waiting for you.

For more information, call (800) 346-2706.


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