Friday, September 20, 2013

CD Review: Gao Hong's 'Quiet Forest, Flowing Stream'

Gao Hong
Quiet Forest, Flowing Stream

Pipa master, Gao Hong, is a Chinese lute player with a knack for creating beautiful melodies and scintillating songs. On Quiet Forest, Flowing Stream, Gao enlists the help of acclaimed-veena player and vocalist, Nirmala Rajasekar, Michelle Kinney on cello, Biplab Bhattacharya on table, David Hagedorn on percussion, Shubhendra Rao on sitar, Joseph Schad on piano, and Kenny Endo on taiko drum. The galloping melodies are steeped in an Indo-China medley of song elements that work quite well together. The instrumental work is full of spritely melodies that represent a little Inner Asian influences, such as Mongolian folk songs. There are some vocals on "Butterfly" and "Celebration," but they are primarily used for an aural accompaniment. Fans of South Asian, Chinese, and Central Asian folk music should add Gao Hong to their collection. ~ Matthew Forss

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