There was a time when the cedar flute was only heard in traditional Native American settings, but these days, some musicians are using that traditional instrument in non-traditional ways. One of them is Jeff Ball, whose Cedar Moon offers an evocative blend of new age and Native American music. Because Ball's cedar flute playing is as tranquil and calm as it is, this CD will have no problem appealing to new age audiences. But for Ball, soothing doesn't mean mindless or vacuous -- Cedar Moon isn't turn-your-brain-off music. Those who have, in the past, accused new age of being unchallenging will find that pieces like "Guardian Angel" and "Pure" have a lot of substance. In fact, one doesn't have to be heavily into new age to appreciate Ball, who makes the cedar flute sound perfectly natural in a non-traditional setting. No one will mistake Cedar Moon for traditional Sioux or Navajo music, although it's obvious that the more traditional Native American sounds have had a very positive impact on Maryland native Ball (who comes from mostly Anglo heritage but does have some Native American ancestors on his mother's side). Cedar Moon isn't strictly for new age enthusiasts -- it is also recommended to anyone who is open to hearing a modern (as opposed to traditional) approach to Native American music.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson