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Barbara Montgomery, who has embraced Buddhism, takes the music and words of Chick Corea written mostly with Corea's long time collaborator Neville Potter, as well as her originals, and turns them into not only a tribute to Corea, but an exultation of a place in the Buddhist tradition, Dakini Land, a place in time that celebrates the female spirit. Montgomery and cohorts present musical themes designed to create images of possible experiences in this celestial place. There's happiness with a "High Wire" that swings with Terrell Stafford's muted flugelhorn carrying the music "up on the wire [where] I like to climb and play with the sky". Providing a contrast to this high flier is a lovely ballad, "Like a Lover", perhaps representing solitude, once more with Stafford's flugelhorn prominent. It's good to hear Stafford in this setting rather than only in the traditional jazz milieu where one usually finds him. He is as equally at home here as he is in New Orleans. Peace and repose comes with Chick Corea classic, "Crystal Silence" with Chris Farr's sax set against the mournful bowed bass of Lee Smith and oriental cymbals of Doc Gibbs. But the Dakini also can represent discontent as heard in a frenzied, Latin-based version of another Corea classic, "500 Miles High". Of the Montgomery originals, the most compelling is "The Reason Why" whose rhythm is driven by the scorching violin of John Blake.
The outcome of all this is an electrifying listening experience. For those who want to learn more about Dakini go to www.dakini.demon.co.uk. This album can be purchased from Barbara's web site, www.bjazz.com. Lyrics are in the liner notes. A portion of the sales proceeds are being donated to the American Lyme Disease Foundation.
Track Listing: What Game Shall We Play Today; The Reason Why; Miles to Go; Crystal Silence; Carousel; High Wire; 500 Miles High; You're Everything; Like a Lover; Sometime Ago
Personnel: Barbara Montgomery - Vocals; Tyrone Brown, Lee Smith - Acoustic Bass; "Father John" D'Amico, Barry Sames - Piano; Kenny Davis, Chico Huff - Electric Bass; Craig Ebner - Guitar; Chris Farr - Tenor Saxophone; Glenn Ferracone, Gregory McDonald - Drums; Doc Gibbs - Percussion; Bob Meashey - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Marlon Simon - Drums/ Percussion; Terell Stafford - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; John Blake - Violin