Byron Metcalf – Inner Rhythm Meditations: Though this is my first listen to Byron’s music, even if we are not (directly) related, it’s easy to feel the spirit that weaves through our musical blood on this fantastic album… as you can tell from the title, this isn’t “straight-ahead jazz”, or “rockin’ be-bop”; but as you listen to compositions like the wonderful “As Clouds Dance“, you will be just as entranced as if you were listening to Miles or other jazz heroes. Byron performs on Frame Drums, Bass Drums, Talking Drum, Udu and Clay Pot… he is joined by Erik Wøllo on Electric Guitars, Guitar Synthesizers, E-bow Guitars, Electric Bass Guitar and Keyboards; and Peter Phippen on Shakuhachi and Bansuri Flutes… I most strongly advise that you listen to this album with your headphones on, at least for the first sitting, so you can catch the full power and intent of beautiful and truly inspiring songs like “The Awakened Heart“…by the end of this sonic wonder, you will, as Byron says in the promo sheet, “know what it means to live an authentic, soul-based, and heart-centered life on this Earth and to be a unique part of the greater cosmos” – right now, in our oh-so uncertain political world, nothing could be more important to our survival!
One of the reasons Metcalf’s work is so much stronger than the other 100’s (perhaps 1000’s) of artists who make music like this is that he allows the music to guide him, rather than “trying too hard” to make the listener a believer… the result is that those healing forces we all know about, which can be channeled from the power of the Universe waft down ever-so-gently as each composition emerges and drench them in the healing colors that are so necessary in today’s life… nowhere is that more evident than on my personal favorite of the six (long) tracks offered up, the 10:13 opener, “Garden of the Peaceful Warrior“… having been a globe-hopping “warrior” for over 40 years, I can personally attest to how calming and uplifting this is, and would challenge any listener out there to find anything better… the flutes are just magic, the synths are subtle and Byron’s drum work is the most solid I’ve heard in 2016. I give Byron and his players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of (a perfect) 5.00. That means, of course, that he gets a “PICK” for “best journey music”. Get more information on Byron’s page for this release. Rotcod Zzaj