Native American Spectacular
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Two World Concerto is a masterpiece of Native American flute and musical impressionism. Mark me, this is not an easy, "Home on the Range" listen. Striking strings, melodious flute and vocals added by the renowned Black Lodge Singers work together to paint tone poetry that is simply remarkable. Go for it!"
Nakai and DeMars mature!
R. Miller | Toledo, Ohio USA | 02/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't throw this word around much, but this is a masterpiece. These two (Nakai and DeMars) have worked together on some other projects that, in my opinion, aren't quite as good ("Spirit Horses" for one). I would imagine it takes a while to learn how to blend the idiosyncratic tones of cedar flutes with the standard scales of the symphony or standard Western tunes. Nakai and Eaton tried to do this on some Christmas tunes ("Winter Dreams"); it works well most of the time on that project, but not all of the time. But this developing collaboration of Nakai and DeMars has really paid off on this disc. The work of the orchestra with Nakai and with the American Indian singers is seamless and wonderful on this disc. (As the wonderful liner notes make clear: hard work pays off!)
It's organized like a concert: two concertos with a short interlude piece between, and two short encores. Everything works. . . and I don't really notice the "collaboration" or the "combination", it's all "of a piece". The only oddity is that the second "concerto", which uses the pow-wow singers, is not really a concerto. The singers are not used the way a normal concerto uses a solo instrument; they are only front-and-center a few times. Mostly they are used just as another division of the orchestra, blending in and out. But WHO CARES? It's marvelous, whatever it is!
I've discovered Nakai recently, and he is one of the greatest American musicians of the last 50 years. I don't know how you compare Leonard Bernstein with Paul Simon with Louis Armstrong with Bill Monroe with Clifton Chenier with. . . but Nakai has brought creativity and excitement and beauty to more kinds of music with those flutes of his. . ."