Saturday, April 11, 2009

In review--Two World Classics

Bob Marley & The Wailers
Island Records

Cesaria Evora
Sao Vicente
Windham Hill Records/BMG

Spring in the Pacific Northwest usually consists of two sunny days followed by a week or two of clouds, rain and wind. And if that is not enough to lower a person's spirit, then add the darkness of an economy that wreaks of a divide and conquer mentality--not to mention perpetuates more fear on the planet. I decided to empower myself. I took up Kundalini yoga as a practice and I found powerful recordings at my local library.

Starting with the classic Bob Marley & The Wailer's recording, Exodus (Movement of Jah People). I have been listening to this recording while performing the yoga exercises. The line, "Are you satisfied with the life you're living?" strikes home with me. The answer is "No, I am not satisfied and I won't be until we all learn to live more harmoniously on the planet." Do I want to be freed from the darkness and grief that surrounds me? Do I want to be liberated from enslavement of the body-mind-spirit and all the negativity that surrounds me? You bet. That's why I research and listen to music of a higher vibration.

Marley was way ahead of New Age thought. His Rasta religion was not just something he preached, but also what he practiced with great conviction. You can hear it in the songs on this recording, from the love songs, Waiting in Vain and Turn Your Lights Down Low, to the spiritual tributes, One Love/People Get Ready, Three Little Birds and Jamming. Exodus is no walk through the park, but an outpouring of a spiritual heart. These songs celebrate the human spirit and help us to endure even the darkest moments through faith in something higher and wiser than ourselves.

Lost your job? Lost your house? Are you wondering why the average person must sacrifice why the one's in power throw lavish parties for themselves? Time to empower yourself through the music you choose. Lift your vibration and transform the world.

The healing effects of Exodus and Bob Marley in general come as universal wholeness and a lifting of the overall vibration. This is the type of music that causes birds to sing for all they are worth. My soul soars when I listen to this recording and I feel empowered. Marley is popular worldwide and I think this healing effect of his music has a lot to do with his popularity and even legendary status. A musician and man with this much charisma can only acquire it from a higher source--in other words, he surrendered to it. And so can we. Get out of the muck and refuse to be a victim of anyone or any circumstance.

Cape Verdean vocalist Cesaria Evora, another important and even classic figure in the world music arena also brings us an outpouring of love through music. Sao Vincente acts as a celebration of life on this planet. Sharing the bill with Evora are Bonnie Raitt (Crepuscular Solidao), Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes (Negue), Orquesta Aragon (Linda Mimosa), Brazilian Caetano Veloso (Regresso) and Pedro Guerra (Tiempo Y Silencio).

One listen to this gorgeous recording, and we can see where Portuguese vocalists such as Lura and Mayra Andrade found their inspiration and mentor. This West African music features polyrhythms, European melodies and passionate vocals. The duets on the recording certainly possess a sunny disposition. Raitt's vocals lend themselves well to the nuances of Cape Verdean music and Valdes' piano and vocals adds further enrichment.

I like to compare music to food in the workshops that I teach. Cesaria Evora's repertoire represents the main course. Everything a listener needs has been lovingly provided by the barefoot diva that we have come to love.

For information on artists such as Cesaria Evora and Bob Marley visit

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