Bob Kindler

Ever Free Never Bound

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Babaji Bob Kindler is the music director of Jai Ma Music, a Hawaii-based organization dedicated to "teaching and transmitting spiritual Truth through the blending of music, poetry, dance, and sacred scripture." Instruments on Ever Free Never Bound include cello and autoharp (Kindler), flute (Sulubika), and tabla/tabla tarong (Greg Johnson and Daniel Paul). This album has the fresh innocence of the early new age recordings (somehow the magical drones of an autoharp seem sufficient for trance-portation), but the gutsy acrobatic East Indian melodies on played on the cello and flute propel the album to greater artistic heights. On "New Moon at Midnight," the autoharp swirls with intoxicating perfumes. The interplays and dodging between cello and flute (snorting like a dragon, shrieking like an eagle) are extremely exciting. Somehow this tumble -- carried on the steady, melodic beats of the tablas -- is meditative. A more languid experience is offered on the beginning of "Be My Driver"; the autoharp washes like gentle waves as the flute darts and trills overhead. The tablas then step up the beat, and the flute and cello zip through -- in tongue-twisting unison -- complex Eastern melodies. This album's a winner either way: as a tool for meditation or as a display of musical virtuosity.

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