Guy Mendilow: Soar Away Home

(Earthen Groove Records, 2001)

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Guy Mendilow draws on his experiences living, learning and performing in four continents and over seven countries including Israel, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil in his debut album Soar Away Home. Awash with powerful vocals, rich harmonies and captivating rhythms, Soar Away Home journeys from South African melodies to sitar patterns, middle eastern rhythms, folk ballads and the blues. Featuring the Guy Mendilow Band, an eight-person ensemble of four voices, 'cello, violin, guitar, bass and percussion, the album opens with Mendilow's exuberant arrangement of Ladysmith Black Mambazo's "Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain" (track 1), reminiscent of Paul Simon, and ranges from the dark, searing harmonies of"Soar Away Home"(track 2) to the tender folk ballad of lost love"Carry On" (track 3), an arrangement of the traditional "St. James Infirmary Blues" with deep, gravelly bass and wailing New Orleans trumpet and the wistful instrumental "Porch Song" (track 12) featuring warm contrabass and jazz piano.

Especially noteworthy is Mendilow's masterful overtone singing on "Experiment in tintal for overtone singing, 'cello & violin" (track 8). If you've never heard the technique, imagine one voice singing one steady pitch, a low drone, like a bagpipe or tambura, while above it a second voice, haunting and flutelike, traces intricate melodies and improvises swiftly. Now picture a solo singer producing both voices at once, a one-man duo. Sounds heady, but the result is simple and moving. Putting a new spin on the old mouth technique and stretching its limits, Mendilow uses the ethereal overtones to sing sitar patterns in the original piece. He is very down to earth about it. He did not, for instance, learn overtone singing from a guru on some mountain. He taught himself in his car. And "Experiment in tintal for overtone singing, 'cello and violin" was written in a traffic jam outside Detroit.

Produced by Guy J. Mendilow

You can order a copy online or by contacting Earthen Groove. Find out what people are saying about "Soar Away Home," read more listener reviews at cdbaby.com, amazon.com, cdnow.com.

Track Listing (Windows Media Streaming clips require Windows Media Player ):

  • Rain, Rain Beautiful Rain
  • Soar Away Home
  • Carry On MP3
  • The Running Game
  • The River
  • The Saint James Infirmary |
  • It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go
  • Experiment in tintal for overtone singing, 'cello, & violin
  • Blackberry Blossom (live)
  • Cursed Miracles: The Story if Ismael & Isaac
  • Ismael & Isaac -- A song for peace
  • Porch Song

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