Mountain vistas interspersed with alpine parks, stands of Aspen and conifer forests interlaced with rivulets and creeks of cool, clear run-off emanating from winter''s glacial snows far about the tree line... this is the alpine homeland of Colorado''s native tribal peoples. Today, the remnants of their summer encampments, in these secluded rocky Mountain fastnesses, are ideal places of spiritual refuge and unencumbered solitude. The nurturing atmosphere offers a brief respite from the cares of the world and within this sacred domain this music was created. The solo Native American flute speaks to the heart with an eloquence unmatched by any other instrument. This collection includes selections featuring the richness of the bass cedar flute in addition to the grace of the standard flute performed by the multi-Grammy nominee, R. Carlos Nakai.
The Native American flute is not inherently versatile and R. Carlos Nakai, the Yo-Yo Ma of this instrument, knows it. That's why he's always looking for novel settings that range from Japanese ensembles to acoustic piano to global music groups. So to stand there naked with an instrument that has a one octave range takes a depth of resources that are both technical and spiritual. Nakai has both and he deploys them across this gently searing album of solo native flute works. Engineer Jack Miller gives Nakai just the right amount of reverb and delay to sheath his flute in an echoing glow without burying it in gimmick. It's like you would imagine a flute melody cast into a canyon to sound, only better. Serene, meditative, soothing; these are all easy adjectives for a CD that will become a staple of shiatsu massage parlors and yoga studios. But Nakai goes deeper than that, calling up the spirit of the desert southwest with every breath he exhales into his vibrato-tinged melodies. --John Diliberto
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