Riley Lee

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Satori Review

by Jim Brenholts

Riley Lee is one of the Western world's leading experts and artists on the shakuhachi, an ancient Japanese flute. In the new millennium, there are several artists performing on ritualistic instruments like the Tibetan singing bowls and bells, the didgeridoo, cedar flutes, pan pipes, and the shakuhachi. In 1981, when he created Satori, this was a relatively new sound to the west. Only a handful of artists were creating music in this style. Gabriel Lee -- no relation -- accompanies Riley on the koto, a 13-string Japanese zither. This is remarkable acoustic ambience. The shakuhachi has a distinct texture and the atmospheres are unique, although there is a vague similarity to the texture of a Native American flute. Gabriel is an acknowledged expert as well and the instruments accompany each other seamlessly. This CD will appeal to fans of Life in Balance, Stan Richardson, R. Carlos Nakai, and Blasdell & Uehara.

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