Joseph Fire Crow
There may not be a more mournful, nor emotionally effective instrument played anywhere in the world than the wooden flute in the hands of a skilled First Nations' player. With that in mind, you are in for a treat with Joseph Fire Crow's Red Beads.
The CD starts off with a lead-in flute solo, and the listener is almost immediately relaxed and in the right mood for what is to come. Some may find the native voice singing on the lead cut As People a little bit of a barrier, but for anyone who has attended a powwow will understand, you simply have to let the music carry you, and I find in most Aboriginal music the singing is simply part of that process.
By the time the CD moves to track 2; Sundance Horses (Oh My Sweetheart), you are so into another place and time, that the foreign language is totally forgotten.
Over the years I have reviewed music in French, Greek and other languages, but none take me to another mindset as deeply as Aboriginal music. It may be the steady undertone drum beat. First Nation's people relate the drum beat to the beat of the heart, and that may well be the connection which makes the music so compelling.
When you layer the music with the haunting flute, the result is something truly quite special, especially in the hands of someone as obviously talented as Joseph Fire Crow.
There are 14 songs here, nine of which go for more than four-minutes, so there is enough music here to take a truly delightful trip to another place any afternoon you need to take a break. Highly recommended. Check it out at www.makoche.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.9, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada