In intensive exploration of the methods and meanings of the trance state, this superb CD/book package begins with an extraordinary 27-minute Sufi dervish invocation, Sadreddin Ozcimi's vertiginous ney (flute) solo over a deliberate, repetitive accompaniment of frame drums and oud that modulates into ever higher realms -- until, inexplicably, it simply fades out. So much for the trance! Not to worry. Next comes 25 minutes of Tibetan Buddhist chanting from the Shartse Dratsang Garden Monestary in India. This is a recording to savor at high volume; when the bronze trumpets and shawms suddenly roll in, the effect is more apocalyptic than trance-inducing. Leave it to 24 minutes of dhrupad, an ancient vocal style of Indian devotional music, finally to put you under. Against a backdrop of sweetly droning tanpura, Ustad N. Zahiruddin Dagar and F. Wasifuddin Dagar probe the selected raga with supreme authority. The 64-page book's topflight text, illustrations, and design are the hallmark of the Musical Expeditions series.
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AllMusic Review by Ted Greenwald