Michael Mandrell and Benjy Wertheimer | Anjali

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World: World Fusion Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Anjali

by Michael Mandrell and Benjy Wertheimer

A mythic instrumental journey that transports the listener into both the ancient land of India and the mystic Celtic landscape, with acoustic guitar, esraj, tabla, and tamboura.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Awakening
5:34 $0.99
clip
2. Priya (Beloved)
4:18 $0.99
clip
3. Satya (Truthfulness)
5:06 $0.99
clip
4. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
9:19 $0.99
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5. Eye of the Tiger
3:51 $0.99
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6. The Breath Inside the Breath
5:25 $0.99
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7. Chandra (The Moon)
3:56 $0.99
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8. Chandrika (Moonlight)
5:24 $0.99
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9. The Mystery
2:58 $0.99
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10. Santosa (Contentment)
8:36 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The first collaboration CD from acoustic guitarist Michael Mandrell and multi-instrumentalist Benjy Wertheimer is a mythic instrumental journey. As a "Yoga Meditations" soundtrack, the album transports the listener into both the faraway lands of ancient India- through the soulful sounds of the esraj, tamboura and tabla- and the mystical Celtic landscape with lyrical splashes of acoustic guitar. From this timeless inner landscape, listeners are invited to travel into the spontaneous journey of the heart that is accessed through yoga and meditation.

As Public Radio International's "Echoes" host John Diliberto put it in a recent interview, "Michael Mandrell is the acoustic guitar player infusing his original melodies with Indian scales and a Celtic lilt." Michael honed his open-tuning guitar chops in the early 80's on the Texas folk circuit, performing with and opening for many prominent and upcoming artists such as Nancy Griffith, Lyle Lovett and John Gorka to name just a few.

Moving to Taos, NM in 1991, Michael performed with the world fusion group "Taos" co-producing their CD, "The Deepening Edge," released nationally on Blix Street Records. His latest self produced CD, "The Great Spiral Dance" continues in the world fusion tradition with all original guitar compositions, adding flutes, East Indian percussion, Uillean pipes and other ethnic instruments.

Michael tours regionally and nationally, playing solo as well as with many of the acoustic warrior road tribe, including Jenny Bird and Benjy Wertheimer. As "Echoes" executive producer Kimberly Hass observes, "Michael's hybrid guitar style reveals a guitarist of eclectic sensibilities and delicate technique. His music circles the globe in imagistic compositions." He currently makes his home in Portland, Oregon.

Benjy Wertheimer is an award-winning songwriter, vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist (playing tabla, congas, percussion, esraj, guitar, and keyboards). Benjy tours with Krishna Das and virtuoso guitarist Michael Mandrell, and he has opened for such artists as Carlos Santana, Paul Winter, and Narada Michael Walden.

A founding member of the internationally acclaimed Ancient Future world fusion music ensemble, Benjy has toured the US, Canada, and Japan with renowned bamboo flute master GS Sachdev. Benjy's CD Circle of Fire was featured on Echoes, heard on over 150 public radio stations around North America. He has been a contributing composer and member of the Zakir Hussain Rhythm Experience (along with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead). For over five years, Benjy scored music for the internationally syndicated NBC series Santa Barbara. He has recorded with numerous A&M, Windham Hill, Narada, Nippon Phonogram, and Rounder recording artists.

Beginning his musical studies at age 5 (starting with piano and later studying violin and flamenco guitar), Benjy received his training in Keyboard Improvisation at the University of Colorado and Composition and Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington. He has studied Indian classical music for over 20 years with some of the greatest masters of that tradition (including Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, Ali Akbar Khan and Z. M. Dagar).

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Reviews


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charles mcclendon

creative and unique .this music relaxes my mind and soul.
this is a very creative and unique cd.its perfect when you need to unwind and relax.well balanced and very interesting.
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Celia Lyons

Delightfully devotional , provocative and divine ~ and synergistically aligned
Hauntingly captures one's full attention and resonates deeply within ~ a delightfully, devotional compilation of
nada yoga ~ thoroughly and yet effortlessly transmits
the essence of Anjali. Namaste!

PS Yoga classes love this music!
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ezra wang

it is breath taking though the music is calm
this is the only one that i'd take with me while i die...
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Michael Mandrell and Benjy Wertheimer

good
How much can you say about a cd, this is silly. It was fine!
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BettieBoop

The best music for relaxing and meditation. Soothes the soul.
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Backroads Music, home of the Heartbeats Catalog


This first collaboration CD from acoustic guitarist Michael Mandrell and multi-instrumentalist Benjy Wertheimer is a mythic instrumental journey. As a "Yoga Meditations" soundtrack, the album transports the listener to both the faraway lands of ancient India- through the soulful sounds of the esraj, tamboura and tabla- and mystical Celtic landscapes, with lyrical splashes of acoustic guitar. From this timeless inner landscape, listeners are invited to travel into the spontaneous journey of the heart through yoga & meditation. Benjy, a co-founder of Ancient Future, has studied Indian classical music for over 20 years with some of its greatest masters (like Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain & Ali Akbar Khan). Mandrell is an acoustic guitar player who infuses his original melodies & Indian scales with a Celtic lilt. Both have prior CDs, yet "Anjali" is more than a sum of its parts. Awesome.
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John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga


Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell are world-class musicians who will rock your heart and move your soul.
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Bill Binkelman of Wind and Wire


Meant to accompany yoga (per the liner notes), Anjali is a soulful and
beautiful collection of East Indian fusion music, featuring the talents of
acoustic guitarist Michael Mandrell (on 6 and 12 string versions of the
instrument) and multi-instrumentalist Benjy Wertheimer (playing tabla,
esraj, tamboura, keyboards, and other percussion).

This is sublime music, ideal for either coloring the environment in an
unostentatious manner or for drinking in as one would a fragrant scent on
the air. Mandrell plays with the proper restraint, regardless of tempo, so
that the guitar never overpowers the gentle grace of the music. Wertheimer
is, of course, a superb percussionist, and he displays his skills throughout
the recording on not just tabla/hand drums, but also the esraj (a stringed
sitar-like instrument that is played with a bow).

Sometimes, the music takes on a ³golden age of Windham Hill² sound, such as
on ³Priya (Beloved)² which opens with a long stretch of solo guitar by
Mandrell, and eventually becomes a guitar/esraj duet. ³Satya
(Truthfulness),² the next track, ratchets up the tempo to a relaxed yet
lively pace, featuring shakers, hand drums (later in the cut) and
Wertheimer¹s esraj alongside Mandrell¹s adroit picking and strumming. Once
again, I was put in mind of great acoustic instrumental albums from the mid
to late Œ80s - the music back then had a gentility of spirit and a subtle
way of expressing beauty with minimal ³glitz² that Anjali displays
throughout its ten selections.

Don¹t think this album is a snoozefest just because of my use of ³subdued.²
The two principal artists each have ample opportunity to showcase their
respective talents. ³Surya Namaskar² features opening snaky tabla rhythms
and seductive esraj but soon involves some semi-jazzy guitar which dances
lightly and playfully above the bowed instrument, flitting over the
underlying drone of the tamboura. The track is about nine-minutes long and
is a highlight of this fine album.

³The Breath Inside the Breath² paints a beautiful yet somewhat sad picture
with its delicate guitar and mournful esraj. ³Chandrika (Moonlight)² is a
graceful improvisatory-feel piece where the guitar goes it solo with the
tamboura. The track is another highlight and showcases that Mandrell¹s
control of nuance.

The album ends with the eight-and-a-half minute ³Santosa, yet another strong
number. Opening with the twinkling of bells, the mystical sound of the
esraj, and drones from the tamboura, this is also one the more ³traditional²
East Indian tracks on the CD, even when the acoustic guitar gingerly enters
the picture. A contemplative tone is maintained for the duration of the song
- no beats or rhythms intrude, just the sultry sigh of the esraj, the gentle
notes plucked on the guitar, and the steadying influence of the tamboura.

Coming after the explosive fire of Wertheimer¹s Circle of Fire, Anjali is a
great change of pace, and also a sheer delight in and of itself. Where
Circle of Fire incited you to get up and dance, Anjali extends a sincere
invitation to sit and just ³be.² With music like this as accompaniment,
³being² is more than enough for a rewarding experience. Highly recommended.
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