Drumming can add a powerful element to ritual work. If you enjoy Native American drumming, this collection features the musical talents of many well-known artists from a spectrum of tribes and heritages.

Peter “Wyoming” Bender brings his Comanche heritage to his two tracks. On track 1 “Night Before Sundance,” the ponderous and stately drum beats are combined with birdsong and flute. A restrained keyboard accompaniment adds harmonies to a beguiling vocal chant. On track 7 “Crow Dog’s Paradise,” nature sounds and piano accompany a subtle vocal chant. The Mesa Music Consort adds complex layers of southwestern drumming and flute work on track 2 “Drums of the Heart.”

Marilyn Rife and Alice Gomez perform an evocative flute recitative on track 3 “Legends.” Another stately drum rhythm underscores the enticing flute melody. On track 8 “Flute Song,” drums introduce a haunting flute call that lures totems and spirits into a circle. The Native Flue Ensemble provides track 4 “Drummer’s Journal. Eagle cries and rattles evoke primitive energies in the intro, followed by snake-like drumming and a weaving flute melody. On track 10, “Drum Quest,” a lengthy introduction of nature sounds leads into a gradually developed flute and synthesizer section. Less is more here, as only a few notes are repeated in a hypnotic way.

On track 5 “Ya-Ta-Hey,” artist Eric Casillas offers a sample of his blend of Afro-Cuban drums and Native American flute. This song has more energetic drums, but the floating flute melody makes the song compatible with others on the CD. On track 9 “Road Opener,” Casillas provides a lighter, upbeat song with a lilting flute melody over a syncopated drum accompaniment.

Recommended for people who like gentle Native American drumming for rituals, meditations, and healing work.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artists: Various
Talking Taco Music Inc. 1997
48:26 min, $12.62