What Lies Beyond

Posted on in Art + Soul by Lloyd Barde

R. Carlos Nakai Quartet

Cover What Lies Beyond

The R. Carlos Nakai Quartet offers an intercultural musical journey melding tradition and soulful innovation, original compositions and inspired improvisations. Featuring R. Carlos Nakai on Native American flutes, concert flute, and trumpet, Will Clipman on drums and pan-global percussion, AmoChip Dabney on saxophones and keyboards, Johnny Walker on bass, and all on voice, What Lies Beyond follows a trio of earlier albums: Big Medicine, Kokopelli’s Café, and Ancient Future. This is music that is evocative, upbeat, and jazzy in all the right places. It ranges from quietly contemplative to highly combustible, and from soothingly meditative to irresistibly danceable, always with an impeccable blend of rhythm, melody, and harmony and a positive vibration.

Of Navajo-Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is universally recognized as the world’s foremost composer for the Native American flute, and its foremost performer. Nakai has also devoted a substantial portion of his career to cross-cultural, multi-genre collaboration. His flowing flute melodies are enhanced by the restlessly creative imagination of the versatile Dabney, anchored by the nimble rhythms of ethno-world drummer Clipman, and grounded in the deep grooves of bassist Walker.

Each track builds from their travels around the globe. Most are 6-8 minutes in length, providing ample time to jam. “Fiddy Fo,’” written in honor of the great American jazz composer Dave Brubek and his 5/4 time signature, features great interplay between the sax and the flute. “Café du Monde” is a piece of French Quarter funk that hits like a strong cup of coffee. “On Sunlit Wings,” written during a trip to Egypt, evokes dawn over the Pyramids, each note holding an appreciation for life.

The R. Carlos Nakai Quartet will play in concert Sunday, April 8, at the Showcase Theater at the Marin Center. CanyonRecords.com


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