There is always an antidote for those cynics who put down this hard to define genre as blandness which poisons the essence of true jazz artsiness. 1995's hardest to pigeonhole style crosser is, hands down, German multi-instrumentalist Büdi Siebert, whose environmentally conscious ode to the Wild Earth (Narada Equinox) owes as much to symphonic daring and exotic winds as it does to tropical pleasures and smoky, late-night alto suavity. Best known for his international tours with Andreas Vollenweider, Siebert's multi-dimensional, crosscultural approach can be attributed to his extensive world and spiritual travels (with a special stop in the American Southwest) as well as his ability on a cornucopia of instruments -- all saxes, flutes, bass clarinet, marimba, accordion, and other exotic percussion instruments. Though more evocative at creating atmospheric travelogues -- from Eastern mysticism to Indian reservations and Greenwich Village jazz clubs -- than sticking with a breezy pop melody, Siebert allows himself to take a few detours and play simple lines over tight everyday grooves here and there. The greatest joy, however, lies in the unpredictable way he toys with our affection for all the land and soundscaping. Traveling this wild earth makes for quite an ear popping adventure.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran