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Journey with the Sun

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Musical pioneer Paul Winter presents an exciting aural excursion created in concert with a brand new line-up of his Earth Band. Joining the acclaimed saxophonist are long-time Paul Winter Consort members Eugene Friesen on cello and keyboardist Paul Halley, renowned Irish Uilleann piper of 'Riverdance' fame Davy Spillane, Armenian vocalist, percussionist and instrumentalist Arto Tuncboyaciyan, special guest Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart, and a caravan of nine other world musicians.

Born of Winter's popular annual Solstice Celebrations in New York's Cathedral of St.John the Divine, the world's largest Gothic cathedral, JOURNEY WITH THE SUN boasts a vibrant mood that flows into more contemplative, ambient spaces such as the elegant ballet for cello and pipes called 'Pas de Deux', or the poignant elegy, 'Last Oasis'. Mickey Hart, on his new computer-linked percussion instrument RAMU, creates bouncy rhythms drawn from the sounds of African mbira, xylophone and sand drum on the dance piece, 'Yabu', which finds Winter's sax riffing wonderfully as keyboards and percussion roll full steam a head. An acoustic folk guitar intro leads into the striking melody 'Singing to the Mountain', a splendid showcase for Tuncboyaciyan's dynamically limber vocal lines. But it is the shimmering, positively electric first track - 'Caravan at Dawn' - that best captures the global village vibe of this sunny album. The penetrating voice of the zurna (a double reed instrument from Armenia) ignites with Hart's hot grooves as the sounds of Paul Winter and the Earth Band resonate throughout the extraordinary acoustics of the Cathedral. These tunes will renew, refresh and reinvigorate your soul!

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Each year during the winter and summer solstices, Paul Winter plays dawn concerts at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He gathers a crew of international players to join his core consort members, cellist Eugene Friesen and keyboardist Paul Halley, to create a global chamber music. Journey with the Sun draws on compositions that have emerged from the last two years' performances. Although Paul Winter is clearly the leader here, the album focuses on Turkish-Armenian singer and percussionist Arto Tuncboyaciyan, who has become a dominating force in the solstice shows in recent years. He sings in a hybrid language of vocables, not unlike Lisa Gerrard or Azam Ali of Vas. An immensely soulful singer, he draws on the same Armenian well of melancholy that also sustains Armenian doudouk master Djivan Gasparyan. Journey with the Sun opens with "Caravan of Dawn," with Tuncboyaciyan's faux call to prayer sending the group into a whirling dervish of Middle Eastern percussion. Paul Winter gives what may be his most wailing solo in years as he merges into a storm of zurnas and the digital santoor of Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. Among the many guests on the album, Hart is joined by Irish singer Niamh Parsons, Romanian pan-pipe player Damian Draghici, and Irish uilleann piper Davy Spillane. From the exuberant Balkan influences "Mountain Wedding" to the more serene spaces of "Cave of Winds" and "Pas de Deux," Journey with the Sun extends Winter's global chamber music once again. --John Diliberto
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 3, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: October 3, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Living Music
  • ASIN: B000056C7F
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,852 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Arto Tuncboyaciyan is yet another Paul Winter "find." While Arto has been around as a performer for a number of years, his previous albums, recorded and produced in Armenia and Greece, have not seen wide distribution in the U.S; for all intents and purposes, this can be considered his domestic debut album. He has sessioned with, among others, Oregon, Al DiMeola and Chet Baker, as a percussionist, so he is not a totally unknown quantity. But it is his earlier Athens-produced albums "Onno" and "Tears of Dignity" which provided initial evidence of his remarkable vocal abilities.

The brief title above could well have been called "This Journey is a melismatic trip." It shows off Arto's considerable vocal and instrumental skills and his intensity of song, with a near-Eastern flavor that at times is Sufi-like. Of the thirteen tracks on the album, Arto's voice is featured on seven of them, and it is virtually impossible to pick a favorite. So I'll pick three, instead: "Caravan at Dawn"(the opening track), "Singing to the Mountain," and "Oror Bubrik" (the closing track), at some risk of not bringing mention to four other excellent tracks. "Caravan at Dawn" is a riot of vocal and instrumental color, very "Eastern" in its setting and with fine keyboard and percussion support by Jordan Rudess (of Dream Theater) on synthesizer and Mickey Hart on RAMU, his self-invented computerized Random Access Musical Universe, looking (and played) much like some modern-art steel pan. "Singing to the Mountain" features a long introduction by Arto on the sazabo, sounding much like some cross-fertilization of a banjo with a ukelele, and Arto is as good on the sazabo as is Bela Fleck on the banjo.
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Format: Audio CD
"Adventures of a caravan of world musicians, recorded in the great space of the world's largest Gothic cathedral," proclaims the back cover of this CD. This is a wonderful concert of true world music, originally performed in 1998 as a sunrise service celebrating the summer solstice in Manhattan's Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This music varies widely in style, from Near Eastern to Celtic, African to modern jazz. But the selections are similarly and deeply affecting, filled with all the longing and fulfillment life has to offer, and celebrating both extremes with equal fervor. The Earth Band is comprised of saxophonist Paul Winter, percussionist and vocalist Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Davy Spillane on Uillean pipes and whistle, Eugene Friesen on cello and Paul Halley on keyboards. Guest musicians include Mickey Hart, with his Random Access Music Universe (RAMU), and singer Niamh Parsons. Each artist gets his or her chance to shine. Many of the tracks are characterized by the distinctive talents of Tuncboyaciyan, who sings not in his native Armenian, but in a unique dialect all his own. Paul Winter's soprano sax is wonderfully versatile, fitting seamlessly into the wide range of musical styles performed. And I love the use of the cathedral's pipe organ--grand, full-throated and unapologetic, it fills its home-space with all its glory, reminding modern listeners that it is not called "The King of Instruments" for nothing. Of one track (#4), Winter writes: "I wrote this in 1975... I've waited a long time for a band that could bring it home." He could just as well be referring to the whole album, because this band and its guests do just that.Read more ›
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Just love this cd! thank you for a wonderful purchase!
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Very goodi
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