Various Artists

Native American Veterans' Pow Wow

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Millard Clark and his Southern Singers were the hosts for this event honoring Native American war veterans, portions of which have been recorded with a sonic presence that rivals any of the fine productions on this label. The program gathers particular interest from the changing size of the ensemble itself. For the "Intertribal" numbers, there are quite a number of singers present, and the musical effect is as stunning as a full symphony orchestra. Other tracks, such as the marvelous "Two Step Songs" and the lively "Gourd Dance Song," are presented by smaller combinations of performers. Both male and female vocalists are featured, with a variety of different singing styles, patterns of embellishment, and just plain whooping it up featured -- sections might remind listeners of Egyptian or Algerian trilling. No part of the deep emotions behind this event were left out of either the performance or the subsequent recorded release, and this is a type of music that is already quite powerfully full of feelings to begin with. "Ponca Veteran's Song" is a tremendous performance, extended in time and with a drum sound that could easily endure three times the length. Although not as specific as some of the Millard Clark song collections on this label, this release captures a superior performance and would certainly make a wise choice for someone just beginning a collection of Native American music.

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