MP3 Desert Wind - Christmas: Rhythms of the Holy Land
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15 MP3 Songs
WORLD: World Fusion, NEW AGE: New Age
The much anticipated re-release is here now! "NOW, MORE THAN EVER!"
"An extraordinarily innovative & creative endeavor which Desert Wind thinks of as their gift to the world community. If you are tired of hearing the same old Christmas tunes, & want something more, something new, enlivening, powerful & elusive, this CD delivers! It is a refreshing change from the ordinary holiday music. Familiar Christmas songs are merged with luscious ancient rhythms from the Middle East. The exotic rhythms infuse the standards with new energy, making this the premiere holiday album to add to your collection. Yet, the album is distinct in that it does not overwhelm the listener as being entirely 'Christmas music.' While most of the tracks are Christmas songs, there are a few festive pieces you'll want to hear and dance to year round. While mostly instrumental, a few of the songs include soulful vocals delivered with insurmountable passion & drive. Amazing Grace is one of these, & is bound to be a year round favorite. As usual, the instrumentals are a percussive blend of rhythmical spice & powerful, sultry, passionate zeal. Adding to the albums immense grace and proportion is the final song which is added almost as a closing prayer, Tikkun Olam (Healing the World.) Overall, this CD is one holiday album that anyone (even those who dont care for Christmas music) can enjoy. 15 tracks." Mystical Treasures Online Gallery.
"Christmas: Rhythms of the Holy Land" is a refereshing change from the Christmas music we hear year in and year out. Familiar Christmas songs are born again with luscious ancient rhythms from the Middle East. Reviewed by Ladyslipper
https://www.tradebit.com says, "The mood is joyful and optimistic. The message is celebration and hope. The genre is a blend of new age and world music. Getting right to the point with a full-bodied, toe-tapping Joy to the World, Desert Wind effectively combines the musical traditions of the Middle East and the Caribbean. This is followed by the most strangely exotic Little Drummer Boy I can remember.
Particularly novel is the application of Middle Eastern rhythm, percussion and winds to western carols. My unfamiliarity with the instruments precludes much discussion, but it left me with an impression of happily hypnotic harmonies. Joined by guest artists Rami Ziadeh, Jonathan Kessler, and Rajab Juma, Desert Wind produces a sound which includes, instills, and integrates the rhythmic elements of many cultures. Also, unique to this CD are three of Alan Scott Bachman's seasonal compositions: Christmas Peace, Tikkun Olam, and the seductively soothing Dance of the Angels.
My take on Christmas: Rhythms of the Holy Land is that this is Christmas music as it was meant to be heard: exotic and percussive, weaving together the traditions of east and west, and accessible to all. Seasonal without being cloying, it will be one of those CDs that can be played as early as November and on into the new year."
City Weekly, Utah's Independent Newspaper, December 23, 1999, Vol. 16 No. 30, Salt Lake City, Utah
DESERT WIND Christmas: Rhythms of the Holy Land (ASB) by William Athey:
"If there is one disc this year that is begging for a listen, it is Desert Wind's Christmas release. Why? Innovation and creativity are present in massive amounts. The title pretty much reveals what's up. Desert Wind do the Christmas thing using dumbek, riq (Egyptian tambourine), tablas and djembe, as well as more familiar instruments. The group is heavily into percussion, so their version of 'The Little Drummer Boy' must be viewed as a highlight. Amy Faust performs the vocal portion in an unearthly fashion. 'Gaudete,' a Christmas song from the 16th century, brings both enjoyment and education to the recording. It's probably difficult to imagine 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' set to rhythms from the Middle East, but Desert Wind doesn't stop there. 'What Child is This,' 'Silent Night' and 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' receive similar treatment. I thought the Dropkick Murphys had turned in the definitive version of 'Amazing Grace' until I heard Desert Wind's take. 'Amazing Grace' isn't exactly a 'Christmas' song, but Faust is celebrating life. Give praise for experimentation, and it works!"
From Life Now Books & Sound of Canada, whose "mission is to provide information and music designed to help all of us find answers, look beyond, tap our unlimited potential and come together as one": Christmas: Rhythms of the Holy Land represents a universal prayer to greet the new millennium. Refreshingly unique, the Desert Wind release transports the listener to the Holy Land, where familiar Christmas songs are infused with luscious ancient rhythms from the Middle East. The many talented drummers on the album weave a rich tapestry colored by warm wooden flute tones and shades of mandolin. One of the most outstanding is Bay Area drumming virituoso Rami Ziadeh, born on Christmas day and raised in Bethlehem. Ziadeh adds a special sense of wonder to The Little Drummer Boy. While mostly instrumental, some of the tracks on the album also feature the amazing vocal talents of Amy Faust. Other musicians featured are: Alan Scott Bachman, Andalin Bachman, Jonathan Kessler, George Grant, Rajab Juma, Brett Bowen & Christian Parry."
"You've probably heard Christmas carols in a variety of pop stylistic treatments, including gospel, jazz, rock and blues. Recently I listened to a CD of carols in a style I'll call 'New-Age Middle Eastern.' Does this sound odd? Not at all, especially when you think about the relationship of the carols' stories to the geographical setting. And the term 'New Age' is especially relevant: Desert Wind, the recording group and label, defines its mission as 'bringing music of world peace and celebration to the new millennium.'
Their 1999 CD is Christmas Rhythms of the Holy Land. The core ensemble, based in Salt Lake City, comprises seven musicians who are specialists in Middle Eastern music and play a large number of instruments. For this recording, two others join them: Rajab Juma from Libya and Rami Ziadeh, a Palestinian Christian from the Bay Area (who happens to have been born near Bethlehem on Dec. 25). Ziadeh was an inspiration for the production.
One of the distinctive features of much Middle Eastern music is its organization around specific rhythmic patterns that derive from spoken poetry. This album demonstrates more than 10 of those patterns, and each one is exotic, hypnotic and 'easy listening' - all at the same time. The selections themselves aren't unusual. You'll hear standards such as 'Silent Night,' 'What Child Is This?' and 'O Come, All Ye Faithful.' But like you've never heard before! They are played on Middle Eastern instruments. There are varieties of drums - tablas, dumbek and djembe - and flutes. Other instruments include a riq (an Egyptian tambourine) and Oriental bells.
Vocalist Amy Faust sings three selections, and Alan Bachman, group leader, wrote several new pieces. The last composition is 'Tikkun Olam,' a phrase that Jews use for 'healing the world.' How appropriate at this particular time."
The Lutheran Magazine
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