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Album Reviews

In Review--Round Up of Rousing Songs

Sometimes I wonder why so few Native American woman musicians record albums or why labels release few recordings by Native American women.  I would love to see women pow-wow drumming and vocal groups, and more in Native American women musicians such as Joanne Shenandoah, Sandy Scofield, Mary Youngblood and Sharon Burch, personally.  So I can’t tell you how pleased I am to review First Nation vocalist-songwriter Nitanis “Kit” Largo debut solo album, Serenity.


In review--Songs from the Native American Church

Sacred music poses a challenge for review purposes because reviewing music requires the analytical brain and sacred music works the other side of the brain, leading to enhanced spiritual experiences.  Sacred music also requires undivided attention as well as, a focus on the heart and body to gage reactions.  Songs of the Native American Church have the ability to knock me right out of my mental space and land me in my heart center and I don’t want to be anywhere near my computer when this takes place.


Awakening the Fire Review

When you have artists as consistently praised and well established as Native flutist R. Carlos Nakai and his frequent collaborator, drummer/percussionist Will Cliprnan (here playing more than 20 different instruments), there's not much to do but stand back, wait for the two to weave their musical spell, and follow wherever it Iced, In-store play , must for this masterwork, which combines the haunting beauty of the Native American flute with a veritable world of rhythm. Nakai and Clipman are at the top of their games here, each flexing his creative muscles with many a twist and turn of mood and style.

Bill Binkelman
Insight Magazine

Stoking Native American Embers

Navajo flautist R. Carlos Nakai's ethereal tone has won him a huge following and has introduced Native American flute music to the kind of audience who may never have otherwise considered listening to 'ethnic' music. He has always stayed loyal to Canyon Records, the indie label (based in Phoenix, Arizona) that specializes in all forms of Native American music and they, in turn, have allowed him free range to record whatever takes his fancy. As a result, Nakai has an extensive discography with dozens of albums both as a soloist and working with a diversity of musicians — from Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Keola Beatner to choirs of Tibetan monks.


An Angels Kiss - Spirit Horses

Emotive, evocative and intense, Spirit Horses sounds a lot like a film score.  I would love to find that it has found its way to a motion picture, as it would add great emotional depth to the characters and screenplay of a film.  I feel like I am part of a movie when it is playing, an array of archetypes released within me ... claiming their moment of life.


An Angels Kiss Review - Native Tapestry

Native Tapestry is a delightful fusion of the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute, R. Carlos Nakai combined with a chamber orchestra, including the music of a European saxophone, African percussion, piano, cello and saxophone.  Like an epic adventure, Native Tapestry is timeless ... with rich, emotional depth and substance that invites the listener to get to know themselves better.


An Angels Kiss Review - Ancestral Voices

18-tracks of pure bliss, Ancestral Voices is meditative, yet interesting with a gentle twist around every corner.  This album lifts me up any time I put it on ... and I have noticed that it does this to others too.  Soothing, spiritual and uplifting, Ancestral Voices is an album that pretty much anyone will appreciate.


R. Carlos Nakai and Will Clipman Awaken the Musical Fire

Every once in a while I get one of those CDs that insists that I stop, be still and listen. Nothing could be truer of Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai’s and percussionist Will Clipman’s latest offering on the Canyon Records label. These longtime collaborators and Grammy nominees are revered masters in the respective fields and each possess prodigious musical careers.


Awakening the Fire Review

Grammy-nominee musicians R. Carlos Nakai (Native American flute) and Will Clipman (drums & percussion) present Awakening the Fire, an instrumental fusion of African, Native American, and Asian musical traditions that draws heavily upon the inspirational power of percussive rhythm. Balance, harmony, and spiritual well-being are the core themes of this uplifting and inspirational album. Highly recommended, especially for connoisseurs of instrumental music that engages the senses and nourishes the soul.

~James A. Cox

Country Music: Side Roads from Wandering Educators

Radmilla Cody knows the American west, too: she is of the Dine, the Navajo. Her album Shi Keyah/Songs for the People is just that, a sharing of stories in song from the funny to the thoughtful. The songs were written by her uncle, Hernan Cody. Together, they offer a picture of life on tribal lands today and  its lasting connections with the past. Whether you understand Navajo or not (there are song notes in English in the album booklet), just listen first. The stories come clear, and so do the reasons Radmilla Cody is one of the best loved traditional style Navajo singers. Read full article

Celebrating Native American Music: Radmilla Cody and Tony Duncan

It is a season of the year when celebrations and gatherings invite us to look back ot history, to remember the first European settlers of the North American continent, and to think that they were met by people already living on the land. It is also a time, these days, when the world looks at the music of the American Indian, the First Peoples, as Native American Music Month is marked.

Radmilla Cody and Tony Duncan are Native musicians whose lives and music draw on places, images, and history of the of their heritage, looking toward history and living as well fully in the present day. Read More...

Tony Duncan - Earth Warrior

Tony Duncan
Earth Warrior

Canyon Records

Tony Duncan, of the Apache, Arikara, Hidatsa, and Mandan nations, is the flutist in the acclaimed Native ensemble Estun-Bah. On this wonderful, serene album, he is joined on several tracks by Estun-Bah’s guitarist, Darrin Yazzie, along with vocalists Toby Jose and Ryan Polequeptewa and the storytelling talents of Duncan’s father, Ken Duncan, Sr. (most tracks are instrumentals, though). Featuring a mixture of originals and traditional songs, the album showcases Tony Duncan’s mastery of the Native flute as his soulful, reflective meditations, sometimes accompanied by percussion, invite the listener to journey into the special origins of the instrument, which are explained in the liner notes.

Bill Binkelman
Retailing Insight

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