New Reviews: December 27, 2004
Reviews by Matthew Forss
Choying Drolma & Steve Tibbetts
The towering Himalayas of Tibet and Nepal are home to many Buddhist and
Buddhist-inspired musicians. Luckily, Minnesota-born, Steve Tibbetts,
recognizes the rich and varied musical contributions of the Himalayan region.
Steve's collaboration with Nepal's Choying Drolma, breaks new ground for
incorporating Buddhist songs and Western arrangements. Steve's effortless
and ethereal, atmospheric instrumentation and assorted percussion and guitar
playing immaculately compliment Choying's soaring vocals. However, the
instrumentation is never intrusive or overbearing. Steve strikes a perfect
balance between Choying's voice and the instrumental arrangements.
Coincidentally, "balance" is an integral part of Buddhist philosophy.
Overall, Steve and Choying certainly shine through on Selwa without
Eva! Leyenda Peruana
Times Square Records
The Latin, lounge rhythms of Eva Ayllon, celebrates the Afro-Peruvian
traditions. Eva's electric vocals are backed by piano, drums, flutes,
violins, brass, bass, guitar, cello, and other typical instruments
used in Latin music. The jazzy tunes are characteristic of some groups
in Panama and Venezuela. Consequently, fans of Latin music from this
region of the world should be comforted; yet enthralled by Eva's entrancing
voice. Great lead and backing vocals, Latin percussion and jazzy arrangements!
The members of Wildest Dreams hail from the USA, Japan, Venezuela,
and Suriname. However, most of the songs are sung in English.
Musically, Wildest Dreams performs Latin music with a jazzy tone and
rhythms characteristic of central African soukous music. Male and
female vocals accompany the diverse instrumentation. The kora, bass,
talking drum, guitar, sax, and electronic arrangements complete the band's sound.
A wonderful album of positive and uplifting lyrics.
Aria 3: Metamorphosis
The arrival of Aria 3: Metamorphosis explores the world of opera and
ambient soprano vocals by Rebecca Luker
and the ambient, electronic and jungle beats of Paul Schwartz.
The highly enticing musical conglomeration displays Rebecca's operatic
voicings that traverse the ambient, electronic and undulating soundscapes
of Paul Schwartz with ease. Fans of the other two Aria albums should be
happy with Aria 3: Metamorphosis. Fans of Ronan Hardiman's Anthem release
or any album by Enya or Emma Shapplin should check out the operatic
vocalizations of Rebecca Luker on Aria 3: Metamorphosis.
Matthew J. Forss is currently a full-time student at Lakeland College-Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He is majoring in Biology and German Language/Culture. Since 1998, he has collected numerous musical instruments and CDs from around the world. Also in 1998, he wrote a paper on Mongolian Ethnomusicology, entitled: How Does Music Play An Important Role In The Life And Culture Of Mongolia? Currently, he has collected over 100 CDs that represent dozens of different countries. His general interests include ethnomusicology journalism and researching the traditional/contemporary ethnic music of various cultures from around the world. His specific, geographic areas of study include the traditional and popular music from Central Eurasia (especially Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.) In November of 2000, he accepted the position of writing world music CD reviews for this site.