Deja-Blues

Deja-Blues

by Steven Halpern
     
 
It's unusual for a recording schedule to have as long a history as Steven Halpern's Deja-Blues does. The timeline begins in the mid-1970s, when he recorded the pioneering, beatless new age classic Spectrum Suite, which still soothes achy bodies in massage sessions. Halpern also taped improv sessions of other musicians like

Overview

It's unusual for a recording schedule to have as long a history as Steven Halpern's Deja-Blues does. The timeline begins in the mid-1970s, when he recorded the pioneering, beatless new age classic Spectrum Suite, which still soothes achy bodies in massage sessions. Halpern also taped improv sessions of other musicians like Schawkie Roth (bamboo flute) and Paul Horn (silver flute) during that time, and upon returning to his archives years later, he found himself imagining Middle Eastern rhythms and blues stylings sounding over the soothing solos. The tracks found here are the fruit of Halpern's subsequent déjà vu transformations, which add overtone chanting, sensual and bluesy vocalise, atmospheric synthesizers, dumbek, frame drum, sinewy electric guitar, and a silky-smooth yet funky fretless bass to the original tapes. Horn himself contributes one track, "Trippin'," with fluttering flute lines that cascade like a leaf circling to earth and then soar like a swallow catching a lift; an udu gourd drum combines with a light trap drum riff to set the languid pace. The rest of the lot features Roth's warm-toned bamboo flute; his lines are lovely and inviting, brushed with just a tinge of jazz. Halpern's bass dances loosely around on "Hear to Eternity," while a synth-buzz gives the piece an electric charge. Lonelier qualities distinguish "Marrakesh," with a ney flute melody that searches wildly against the din of a military drum cadence. Deja-Blues is a delight, adding just as much spiritual substance to these classic tracks as they had in the first place.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Diana Potts
Steve Halpern's Deja-Blues is a reworking of his 1978 album From Hear to Eternity. This time around, Halpern adds guest vocals and has restructured the instrumentals to take the listener on even a further journey than before. As the album opens with the title track, a scene of sailing down a heat drenched, narrow tropical river in a boat is painted with Halpern's rhythms and the bamboo flute solos by Schawkie Roth. Ethereal vocals come courtesy of Melissa Phillippe, who contributes more to the exotic picture of a place somewhere between Morocco and Tibet. The last track, "Atlantis Rising," brings the listener to the exotic bright sunset that puts the untamed wilderness and the journey to an end. Though Halpern's work is nothing towards groundbreaking, it is a more rhythmic attempt at a genre that often acts as a lullaby, rather than an encouraging calm.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/12/2000
Label:
Inner Peace Music
UPC:
0093791789025
catalogNumber:
7890

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