Oh my, sometimes musicians just find a way to make you go wow! That's exactly what Rozalind MacPhail accomplished on the song Tofino Kiss, the opening cut of her CD Edgework.
To begin with, there was MacPhail's voice, happy, unique, clear. It carries a sweetness which is memorable.
That said, it is a voice which is enhanced by the fact MacPhail is wise enough to allow it to slip into the background. At those moments she remains central to the music, as she plays her flute.
Now I will admit to my ear the flute, when handled by a fine musician, can be one of the most hauntingly beautiful instruments. In this case it is used to wonderful affect.
MacPhail attended several music schools in Canada and abroad, having become both a long-term resident at the Banff Centre and an Artist-In-Residence at The Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, and the experience shows as her flute work obviously draws on the traditions of several cultures.
The music is overall modern pop-oriented. No it's not bubblegum sweet, but rather filled with emotion and heart, thanks to the combination of MacPhail's voice, and the skillfully used flute, which is allowed to be an integral part of the music.
Of course instrumentation is a strength here. The title song is a a wonderful ride of different sounds, all put together smoothly.
At times the music is haunting, like the lead in to Baba's – Unite Us All, at other times it's happier like on Tofino Kiss, but whichever emotion MacPhail choses to bring out with her flute, it all works.
This is one of those albums which should have more musicians exploring how the flute can be incorporated into music clearly geared to a younger audience, although this CD will be appreciated by any listener with an ear for wonderful music.
MacPhail does set her own course here, but it's a journey the listener will be glad they signed on for.
Check this amazing artist out at www.rozalindmacphail.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper July 23, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada