Welcome to the last day of this brilliant Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival. Hope you’ve had as much as we did with this one! Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts from all the writers involved in the series. And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!
This is a fascinating CD. I cribbed this from Amazon, which oughta tell you everything you need to know about it:
In September 2003, actor Richard Gere introduced a brief address by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, an evolved soul if ever there was one. The two men hosted a benefit concert at New York’s Avery Fischer Hall to raise funds for Healing the Divide, a humanitarian organization founded by Gere and dedicated to fostering understanding between East and West. The Gyuto Tantric Choir’s deep, overtone-laced throat singing opens the festivities. Appropriately enough, Tom Waits, hoarse and rumbly-tumbly as ever, is up next, appearing with the eternally questing and utterly fearless Kronos Quartet, as is Gambian kora (a West African harp-lute) virtuoso Foday Musa Suso. The latter also sits in with minimalist composer Philip Glass and his ensemble–an unexpectedly thrilling juxtaposition. The beautiful and brilliant young Indian mistress of the sitar, Anoushka Shankar (daughter of Ravi), shoots sparks while N. Carlos Nakai’s Native American wooden flute is heard in an ineffably spacious and moving peace chant with Tibetan musician/composer Nawang Khechog. Each of the artists involved and the record label are donating all their proceeds from the sale of this commemorative CD to the Tibetan Health Initiative, a program providing health insurance and medical care for refugee Buddhist monks and nuns. But aside from offering a painless opportunity for accruing positive karma, these awe-inspiring live tracks would be a bargain at double the price. –Christina Roden
As for my own take on it, after all that, I’ll tell you that I could not help but be pulled deep into this disc. It’s so different from what I usually play, and utterly intriguing and fully immersive, that as it unfolded it quickly became one of the best discs I’ve heard in a long time! This is how we expand our horizons and learn new things… And of course, anything with Tom Waits (with Kronos Quartet, no less!) is worth every penny. Buy this with confidence.