Guy Mendilow,
(Earthen Groove, 2006)

On this unusual CD, Guy Mendilow plays berimbau (a percussive musical bow) and guitar, and provides vocals and overtone singing. Andy Bergman plays electric mbira (thumb piano), jaw harp, sax and pennywhistle. Daniel Gale plays violin on two cuts, and Rajdulari and Yulia Van Doren are on vocals. Strangely, despite its title, no crowd noise can be heard on this disc.

Mendilow plays acoustic guitar on six of the nine cuts, giving Live a folky feel. One of his originals, "Awendeje," sounds just like an African song, while the other, "Experiment," features his remarkable overtone singing. With the latter, he even "sings" the melody to the traditional Shaker tune "Simple Gifts" on the last cut.

Mendilow specializes in rearranging obscure folk songs from different parts of the world, especially from Israel, where he once lived. Others are Ladino ("Durme Durme") and from Burkina Faso ("La Avot Sheli"). Adapting the music to a Western acoustic setting helps listeners to appreciate the beauty of the melodies. He sings them in their original languages.

This is a peaceful and relaxing CD, made interesting by the use of many different instruments and songs from many countries.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Dave Howell

15 September 2007

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