Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Walk like rain as children in Kalimbahari
Douglas J. Hultsman | Corinth, Texas United States | 07/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This stunning 1990 release is still one of my faves in the "World/Ethnic meets Jazz/New Age" genre. Norman Engelleitner, who wrote most of the tunes, assembles an all-star cast for the "hard to categorize" music on this sadly out of print CD.Joining Mr. Engelleitner are Robert Powell on various stringed instruments, Michael Pluznick on percussion and "other events", Dallas Smith on Bamboo flutes, Sax and Clarinet, Tom Corwin on Bass and Brian Mantia on Drums. Michael Manring adds Fretless Bass and a cast of others round out the mix.The music is well constructed and played to perfection. What separates this music from so many others in this genre is the strong interplay between the various parts. The music runs the full gamut from percussion charged African rhythms(Kalimbahari, Wajumbe, Rattle In The Bush, As Children) to American Southwest
coupled with Jazz Fusion(Taos In Mind, Somewhere In Between, Walk Like Rain, Tell Me Slowly).Apparently, the band sent a tape of their music to San Fancisco radio station KKSF, and the program director Steve Feinstein had this to say: "Opafire has qualities which separate it from the all too numerous unoriginal artists we are presented with. Never before have we aired music from a local artist who sent us a tape. Why did we make this exception? Listen, and the reasons become clear; First, the arranangements are exceptionally artful-layered and dense, but never cluttered, and with a fine balance of electronic and acoustic instruments. Each listen to Opafire's music reveals additional textures and nuances."
"Second, their music has warmth and humanity, with Third World strains integrated beautifully." "Third, and most important, the songs are well written, with catchy melodies and seductive rhythms. Strong material is what separates the wheat from the chaff in contemporary instrumental music, where the ability to compose memorable tunes is all too rare....listen for yourself."Ok, so these are liner notes, and you would expect a glowing review, but the guy speaks the truth. This is a great release that maybe was just a little ahead of its' time. BMG/Novus should re-release this gem and give it promotion and airplay today and see it take off.Oh well, if not, I see that used copies are available "for a song". Get a copy and see what can be accomplished by exceptional musicians and great material.BTW, the follow up to this release, "Without A Trace" is all too forgettable. Gone are the catchy rhythms and strong interplay, with so-so vocals. Their 3rd release, "Ricochet" is much better, although not as strong as this debut."
Unforgettable New Age!
smoothjazzandmore | Clay, NY USA | 08/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I finally purchased this CD thru Ebay as it is no longer available in print. I remember the first time I heard "Wajumbe" on KKSF in 1990. It was different music than I've ever heard before. It was fresh and original. The mix of African, Brazilian, New Age and Jazz is just amazing. Norman Engelleitner's production was outstanding. Probably one of the best work I've heard. I don't think anyone else has come close. If you can find this CD, buy it! It's an unforgettable piece of New Age music!"