Blues from the Rain Forest - Merl Saunders, Saunders, Merl
Sunrise Over Haleakala - Merl Saunders, Saunders, Merl
Blue Hill Ocean Dance - Merl Saunders, Muruga
Afro Pearl Blue - Merl Saunders, Muruga
Dance of the Fireflies - Merl Saunders, Saunders, Merl
Sri Lanka - Merl Saunders, Moore, Eddie [Drums
This meditative record is a departure from the bluesier and funkier organ work for which Merl Saunders is best known. Experimenting with a number of synthesized sonic textures, Saunders establishes a peaceful mood that bor... more »ders at times on New Age, but is anchored significantly by Jerry Garcia's guitar. Garcia again shows his ability to be comfortable in a variety of musical settings, and his playing here is inventive and interesting without ever disturbing the mellow atmosphere. Saunders calls it "environmental earth music" and the sounds are both inspired by and in honor of the rainforest. A lovely record that offers ample rewards even without undivided attention. --Marc Greilsamer« less
This meditative record is a departure from the bluesier and funkier organ work for which Merl Saunders is best known. Experimenting with a number of synthesized sonic textures, Saunders establishes a peaceful mood that borders at times on New Age, but is anchored significantly by Jerry Garcia's guitar. Garcia again shows his ability to be comfortable in a variety of musical settings, and his playing here is inventive and interesting without ever disturbing the mellow atmosphere. Saunders calls it "environmental earth music" and the sounds are both inspired by and in honor of the rainforest. A lovely record that offers ample rewards even without undivided attention. --Marc Greilsamer
"Merl Saunders makes a keeper of an album with the help of Jerry Garcia and others. It calms the senses and takes you on a journey through Central America's rainforrests with relaxing chords and native instruments. Jerry's distinctive guitars compliments the music here as it does on other Saunders' works. I personally listen to this album at work, and my co-workers are constantly asking me what it is, or to borrow it. It is a keeper, one which you will listen to repeatedly."
Perfect for a meditative mood
twirlgrrl | San Francisco, CA USA | 03/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, an instrumental synthesizer-driven album by the great blues/rock/soul daddy Merl Saunders! It's hard to know what to think until you've heard it. I used this CD as part of the "soundtrack" while helping a friend through labor. We did some guided imagery as a relaxation technique and this music was PERFECT accompaniment to our visions of floating down a river through a forest. I listen to this CD when I need to change a hectic or upsetting day into a gentle, calming but uplifting evening. I don't generally listen to "new age" music, but this is new-agey in the best possible sense because it paints vivid pictures and uses all sorts of interesting sounds, rather than being a bland drone of synthesizers as some new age can be. Jerry Garcia's melodic contributions to the first several tracks are really what makes the music so uplifting. His guitar weaves a melody in and around the gorgeous atmospherics behind, and it's not sleepy, it's quietly exuberant. Highly recommended!"
This is an AWESOME album!!!
brianz57 | Venice, CA USA | 02/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back on Earth Day 1990 me and some friends drove from LA to SF (not very enviromental of us, huh?) in order to see an Earth Day concert at Chrisy Fields in the Presidio. We were going because of Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman playing. (Actuially I was really going to see a Devo reunion!). It was a stormy SF day, clouds and rain breaking into sunshine and then back again. We stood in the wet through an all day musical adventure, many acts from Maria Muldar to Mary's Danish to the bad version of Starship and more. Bob and Rob's set got cut off by a storm midway into Throwin' Stones. Devo never played. But in the middle of it, Merl played. It was the first time I heard Blues for The Rainforest. It may have been the first time it was ever played live for an audience. It was so beautiful, with the actual wind and thunder and rain happening and supporting it all... I was so moved. I bought the CD that day. And the CD had Jerry on it!!! I have since bought about 10 copies, because I always want to share it with someone. I am a Massage Therapist and teacher, and I use it in my classes and my sessions all the time, it is so beautiful, peaceful, healing. It is a truly spiritual and groovin' album. And Jerry soars!!! Awesome!"
Relaxing but vibrant
Tim Withee | Los Angeles, CA | 08/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Merl Saunders is a great musician worthy of every accolade given him. This work, in part a collaboration with long-time musical soul brother Jerry Garcia, is simply a beautiful, relaxing, musically adventurous album. It's what you'd expect from this type of CD concept from Saunders and Garcia, although you probably didn't think this was something they'd do.
All the other reviewers have pretty well hit the nail on the head, so I haven't much else to say except that whenever I have a massage session, it's one I like to play because the imagery in the music really aids the relaxation process in massage. The results for me have been fantastic.
Then again, I just like to listen to it while reading or anytime the mood hits. You'll always hear something that you hadn't heard before, too, which is why it's not something that I've grown tired of as time passes (I've had this CD almost 15 years).
Nothing less than 5 stars for this CD."
Some of the most relaxing, unique and beautiful music . . .
richlatta | "The War Zone" ABQ, NM | 11/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
". . . ever. This music brilliantly conveys the rainforest atmosphere. The instrumentation is incredible, especially the exotic percussion. Most of the songs are long and adventurous while "Sunrise Over Haleakala" is a very pretty, very sweet number led by a piano and Jerry Garcia's plaintive guitar. Elsewhere, Jerry's presence is more prominent, such as on the anthemic opener "Blues from the Rainforest." He really makes my heart swell when his guitar takes flight. "Afro Pearl Blue" is another gorgeous trip into the jungle with beautiful female harmonies. Garcia doesn't appear on the last two tracks, but they are no less worthy. The very last track takes a somewhat different direction with drones, chanting sounds and more of the excellent Indian percussion that's woven throughout the album. BLUES FROM THE RAINFOREST is a collaboration that represents a true melting pot of different musical cultures. The result is greater and more perfect than many other such mergers are able to acheive. For me, this album has come in handy on many different occasions and has become a classic in my collection."