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MP3 Dave Crowder - Animal Dreams

Jazzy New Agey eclectic mix of musical genres and styles. Mostly instrumental, but a few Mid-Eastern vocals and lots of didjeridu.

10 MP3 Songs
WORLD: World Fusion, WORLD: Middle East Contemporary

Initially learning to play didjeridu from a previous Science student in 1995, Dave is a school teacher with a musical slant. Having been inspired and influenced by nature and the hypnotic rhythms of the Mid-East, Africa, & the Caribbean, he has been a member of the rock fusion band BushTic and many world fusion ensembles including Second Nature. After his involvement in several different CD projects as a guest musician, he gained the confidence to eventually release his first self-produced CD called Animal Dreams November 2002. " Where rhythm & percussion fuse with world instruments and the sounds of nature!"

Review courtesy of Tom Goar

This is a CD that I have been playing a lot, and it keeps sounding good to me. Dave not only plays great didj, but also performs remarkable vocal harmonics, really nice percussion, and makes incredibly realistic animal sounds out of his own body. Dave''s animal sounds grace the silences between cuts and are sometimes tastefully a part of the cut itself. Joining Dave are some top-flight musicians playing ancient and modern world instruments.

Each cut on Animal Dreams creates its own world, and I enjoy living in each of them. The CD begins with the sound of a solitary cricket followed by the first cut, a jazz fusion piece, "Awakening," that has interesting twists and turns. It features didjeridu, sitar, chapman stick, drums, bass, and sax. The second cut is "YinYang," a spirited rhythmic didjeridu solo with accompanying Ghanaian hand drums. Third is " Cricket Dance," a didjeridu duet that explores the range of the instrument---rhythms, harmonics, vocalizations, all that we love about the didj. I imagine that the didj sounds on this cut are such as one might hear in some deep, dark, transmogrified forest.

The fourth cut is "Mastika Kashlama," a song in 9/8 rhythm about an Egyptian drink---with didj, oud, dumbek and vocals. It is evocative of unknown lands and inexplicable experiences. Fine musicianship, strikingly beautiful vocals. The fifth cut, "Windhorse," contains no didjeridu whatsoever, but is one of my favorites anyway. It takes us into the Himalayas and Tibet where "windhorse" is the local equivalent of "prana" in India, "chi" in China, and "the zone" in basketball. What arouses the energies in this piece are the breathtaking harmonic overtones that play their own tunes. The atmospherics in this piece are wonderful. "Windhorse" is followed by "Turtle Cricket," a virtuoso rhythmic didjeridu solo piece accompanied by hand clapping. The seventh cut is entitled "Seven," and is in 7/8 rhythm. The musicianship on this cut, with East Indian, Egyptian and Australian instruments is exquisite.

I am transported to an eastern garden, protected by a garden wall from the bazaar outside. The droning didjeridu sounds just right with the sitar, oud, nay and darabukka (dumbek). The eighth and title cut is "Animal Dreams," which takes us to another realm, a peaceful and introspective, meditative realm. Here the didjeridu duets with a synthesizer to produce a new age fusion piece in which the didjeridu humanizes the synth''s unworldly sounds, and the synth gives wings to the aspirations of the earthy didj. This is a piece that bears introspective listening.

"Animal Dreams" is followed by what may be the most beautiful piece on the whole CD, "Sheba," a wonderful Middle Eastern song that has the expressive drone of the didj joining with oud, nay, darabukka and the heartstoppingly beautiful voice of Meagan Chandler to bring the Animal Dreams to the height of its emotional intensity with exquisite tenderness. If "Sheba" is the climax of Animal Dreams, then "Zaze Pentad" is its denouement. Here Dave''s wildman didjeridu solo is counterpointed by his ethereal vocal harmonics. In me, what these contrasting elements mix together to produce is happiness. Happiness and a peaceful spirit.

This CD is the product of years of dedication and effort--and lots of heart--and that''s the way it sounds.

Tom Goar

People who are interested in Kent Outback Steven Graham should consider this download.
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