Lorin Grean is a weaver... a weaver of spells, of magic, of music
so achingly, exquisitely beautiful that I find myself returning
again and again to the solace of its enveloping warmth.
Begin with the Celtic harp, which Grean plays with easy passion.
Add her voice, pure and sweet, which takes the listener into the
Mix in award-winning Charlie Bisharat's violin,
Kevin DiSimone's piano and synthesizer, and Randy Tico's bass and
percussion. Finally, stir in Native American flute, cello, additional
percussion, vocals, and electric guitar, and we have a recipe for
something new and wonderful in the world.
It has been called Celtic
fusion or world harp but, labels aside, Hand Woven is deliciously
fresh music served up with delightfully infectious joy.
Grean uses her voice as an instrument. Rather than sing
songs, she vocalizes her joy in wordless riffs, weaving her voice
in and out of the other instruments with such outrageous precision
you would think she had digitized her voice and then sampled it.
The compositions are almost entirely original creations by Grean,
except fore the haunting
"Sailing the Skies," which she wrote with Kenny Loggins. "Sage
"In Pursuit" are also co-written.
Other tracks that particularly
stood out for me include "Starlight Journey," a 12-minute
piece that seamlessly weaves four distinct songs in a tapestry
of angelic harp and voice, sensuous percussion, and most of the
instruments listed above; the title track, a 14-minute piece comprised
of four contiguous songs; and "The Bengal's Secret," with
Mujiba Cabugos on tamboura and Junior Homrich on tablas, berimbau,
and other percussion, adding a taste of India to this wildly exotic
world fusion gem.
For my money, Hand Woven is one of the best albums of 1997.
Reviewed by Steve "Edge" Ryals in New Age Retailer