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World Music CD Reviews North American

Various Artists

By Tom Orr
Published July 22, 2008

Think Global: Native America
World Music Network

There’s no longer any excuse for stereotyping Native American music. Sure, pow-wow drums, haunting cedar flutes and hypnotic chants are heard on this disc, but there’s also much more going on. Traditiona-sounding pieces by Blackfire, R. Carlos Nakai, Radmilla Cody, Ed Lee Natay and Thunder Hill will amply please purists, while Buffy Sainte- Marie’s rockish interlude, Louie Gonnie’s spectral soundscape of voices emerging like passing time, Walela’s blend of gospel-tinged vocal grace and electronic shading and Nakai’s handy fusion with Hawaiian slack key guitarist Keola Beamer toss different flavors into the pot. Comprised of 14 largely meditative pieces, the album could have benefited from a few more upbeat offerings to break up the flow, but the indigenous splendor presented here will provide medicinal respite from life’s everyday ailments, and the Oxfam-supporting proceeds from this and others in the Think Global series show that both hearts and actions are in the right place.