Review: Micki Free – THE NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE AS THERAPY

Micki Free – THE NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE AS THERAPY:  It’s genuinely amazing to me that Micki has managed to capture all the vibrant energy that can happen when spoken-word is combined with “natural” instruments like the Native American flute; though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at all, since his background (in all forms and genres) is so extensive… notably, folks like Bill Wyman, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Prince, Carlos Santana and many others; which shows his ability to perform in diverse musical environments… and you will hear that come shining through when you listen to tunes like the wonderful “Lavender Kiss“… not at all what you might think from the title – and his flute will pull emotions out of your heart that you didn’t even remember were there on this piece… perhaps because it was written as a memorial for Micki’s friend Prince! 

Another aspect of this album that is so intriguing is his integration of players like Paul Brown – another artist who we reviewed here, along with his wife April, who also appears on Micki’s album — and fell in love with in the immediate; Brown’s Hammond organ just SHINES on several of the pieces… Micki has woven it right into the very fabric of tunes that you will also relish and absorb with every fiber of your being.  As you listen to his spoken-word on songs like “Positive Energy“, it will be easy for you to realize the truth of his words, and the power of his creativity… if you are able to focus on the more positive things in life, like the beautiful music Micki creates here, you will have little to fear!

During the mid-1990’s, I reviewed several “Native American” CD’s (mostly coming from the Makoche label; many of the albums submitted were in one of two camps… “pure”, or “hybrid”… nothing wrong with either, and nearly all those reviews came out positively… but what Micki has managed to do on NAFAT is to merge musical styles like no other Native American artist I have heard yet (and believe me when I say – I’ve reviewed scores)… as you listen to my personal favorite of the dozen songs offered up for your aural and spiritual pleasure/enlightenment, Micki’s rendition of Neil Young’s “Down By The River“, you will be moved to pursue the dream that we all were after back in those ’60’s years… tears of both joy and sadness will flow as you listen to the magical meld he has woven together for us all… true musical talent, with pacing and high vision like you have never listened to before… simple, yet amazing, music!

It is with total confidence that I proclaim this to be MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and give it an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of a perfect 5.00… which means, of course, that this gets my “PICK” for “best Native American spoken-word album”.  Get more information about this high-energy player and all his projects on Micki’s site, or on the Mysterium Music label page for the album.          Rotcod Zzaj

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Dick Metcalf (aka Rotcod Zzaj) is a globe-hopping musician and poet who spent many years roving the world until he finally settled in his current abode, Lacey, Washington... just down the road from Seattle. He started IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION magazine in 1990 (still being published), and Contemporary Fusion Reviews magazine in 2016