by Mark Maxwell Abushady, NYC
The Dream Exchange
Atmospheric is the word! To borrow from the title, John Luttrell has created a collection of many dreams, each distinctive in sound, feel and effect. Notable cuts include “Interstellar Dust” reminiscent of Anthony Phillip’s groundbreaking “The Geese and the Ghost,” yet still Luttrell’s alone. The depth and vibrancy of the guitars on “The Dream Exchange,” the rhythmic and mysterious “Ethereal Raga,” and the lightly lyrical ‘Inland Returned” are also standouts. A nice, worthy offering.
Moments from the Life Stories of Strangers – Part One
An intriguing title aptly chosen for this musical offering. “Invocation”, the opening piece, is absolutely transformative. With the following cut, “For When the Love Will Rain Down Upon You,” the extraordinary nature of this album is made clear. The orchestrations are lush at times, restrained at others, but always rich and evocative. “Flicker of the Glistening” is fascinating, complex, with, at times, an Aaron Copland-type American sound juxtaposed with other world influences, and leads beautifully into the following cut “Glory Story #2”, where the composer and musicians scale into even high octaves of sound and being. I could go on, but will resist the temptation and simply say that I believe this to be a ground-breaking album. I hope, indeed, that a Part Two will soon follow. Highly recommended.
It is a pleasure to review a new offering from this wonderful musical duo. Like hearing from an old friend, “Ritual” has the distinctive Kater/Nakai sound so much enjoyed in the “How the West Was Lost’ soundtrack and other, earlier albums. Here, however, there is an added maturity; a moving beyond their trademark poignancy. This is especially evident in the plaintive “Invoking the Elements” and “Offering.” Mr. Kater and Mr. Nakai are joined in this endeavor by the very talented Paul McCandless, vocalist Trisha Bowden and cellist Jaques Morelenbaum.