This best - of collection is nothing less than essential New Age flute and ambience music, straight-up and perfect for meditation, yoga, or just relaxing in a beach or oceanic environment. Michell, a classically trained flautist, here offers both original works and laid - back adaptations of classical standards by Faure, Schubert, Pachelbel, and others. Graceful, elegant playing features elongated notes, drawn out in a wavering, reverent style, accompanied by dolphin noises ("Dolphin Love"), wordless angelic vocals ("Angel Voices"), the sound of gently lapping waves ("Ave Maria"), Tibetan singing bowls, and violin. Fellow flutist Paul Cheneour chimes in for "Flute Blues", a dance of interweaving flute lines that sometimes floats over jazz territory without ever losing its hushed reverential beauty. This music openly embraces love, chakras, and the spirit.cduniverse.com
Producer Chris Bangs cranks out ten jazzy dazzlers, contributing musically on bass and drums and co-writing eight of the ten songs, with many featuring the delightful vocals of Camelle Hinds, who is simply entrancing on "State of Mind" and "Always Be the One." The title track is a delicacy for the ears, an intricate movement arranged with diamond-cutter precision. Living up to his name, "Way Over There," "Watuzi Strut," and "Guiding Light" are bangers from a banging, slick, contemporary jazz CD.
Initially conceived as a moral and artistic response to human suffering, violinist Edna Michell's Compassion also became a touching tribute to her mentor and source of inspiration, Yehudi Menuhin, on his death in 1999. The 15 compositions commissioned by Michell for the project revolve around the themes of suffering and charity in fairly abstract or suggestive ways, with few programmatic, religious, or political points made beyond the allusive titles. As a practical matter for curious listeners, this CD is a comprehensive sampler of contemporary musical trends, and the leading lights of two generations of composers are generously represented in the CD's 80 minutes. Established figures such as Karel Husa, Lukas Foss, György Kurtág, Hans Werner Henze, Wolfgang Rihm, Philip Glass, John Tavener, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis share the program with rising composers Shulamit Ran, Chen Yi, Yinam Leef, Betty Olivero, Poul Ruders, and Somei Satoh.