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Crossroads
     

Crossroads

by Robert Tree Cody
 
Crossroads brings the music of the native peoples of the Great Plains and the Huichol of Mexico together for the first time. Robert Tree Cody, of Dakota-Maricopa heritage, sings and plays the familiar wooden Native American flute, while Xavier Quijas Yxayotl adds the distinct colors of the Aztec and Mayan clay pipes, whistles,

Overview

Crossroads brings the music of the native peoples of the Great Plains and the Huichol of Mexico together for the first time. Robert Tree Cody, of Dakota-Maricopa heritage, sings and plays the familiar wooden Native American flute, while Xavier Quijas Yxayotl adds the distinct colors of the Aztec and Mayan clay pipes, whistles, and vocals. On most Native American recordings, the predictable beat of the powwow drum prevails, but on Crossroads, rhythms swirl and overlap, with resonant drums parrying against the wooden clacks of dancing sticks in an atmosphere charged by rattles. "Dance of the Sunset Feathers" begins the album with a chilling swoosh of wind whistles and death whistles; a full range of drums and sticks creates a rhythmic path for the melodic flutes and vocal chants as an eagle cries overhead. On "Dance of the Bow Hunters," a musical bow adds a hearty bass beat to the rattle-clad dance steps. Bubalek (Mayan water drums), scrapers and rasps, grunts and chants, and the far-reaching echoes of natural shell horns create refreshing yet primordial soundscapes, rich with ceremony and sacred intent. This lively recording places four performers (Tonaantzin Carmelo and Juan Ayala offer additional percussion) precisely in space for an exciting, three-dimensional sonic experience. Crossroads is strong, bold, and blatantly virile.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Peggy Latkovich
North meets south in this strong mix of indigenous music of the Great Plains and Mexico. This is Tree Cody's sixth recording for Canyon, and his first with Huichol musician Yxayotl. In painterly strokes, they combine an array of flutes, whistles, rattles, and drums from both traditions. The interplay of percussion is more complex than the usual "heartbeat" drumming heard on most First Nations releases. Yxayotl has a colorful palette of Mayan and Aztecan instruments at his disposal, including water drums (bubalek), turtle shell rattles (ayotl), musical bows, rainsticks, and rasps. Tree Cody's spacious voice floats over it all. Other vocalizations such as hisses, grunts, and shouts accent the thoughtfully conceived arrangements. While the compositions draw heavily from the deep traditions of both cultures, the overall sound has a contemporary spirit of experimentation. A standout track is "Dance of the Bow Hunters," an almost visual piece in which the sounds of grasses and hunting bows are evoked, punctuated by the sharp scratch of the rasp. The throaty moan of the Tree Cody's Dakota flute intertwines with Yxayotl's high, piercing pre-Columbian flute. The final track on the disc "Festival of the Deer" builds to a joyous finish, with robust singing and grunting over a thundering drumbeat. The spirit of adventure and innovation is alive and well on this fine release.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/20/2000
Label:
Canyon Records
UPC:
0729337704121
catalogNumber:
7041

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