David Michael, Randy Mead & Friends | Music World

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Music World

by David Michael, Randy Mead & Friends

A retrospective compilation of lively World Fusion Music with 18 musicians playing over 40 instruments from 5 continents, featuring the highlights of Michael & Mead's long, illustrious partnership.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Music World
4:47 $0.99
2. Bright Morning
4:49 $0.99
3. Caravanserai
5:45 $0.99
4. Daydream
5:23 $0.99
5. Forest Evening
3:35 $0.99
6. Wild In The West
3:34 $0.99
7. The Fourteenth Night
4:41 $0.99
8. Spirit Rising
6:48 $0.99
9. Distant Mountains
4:47 $0.99
10. Zihuatanejo
2:23 $0.99
11. Spindrift
4:40 $0.99
12. Reflections Of A Journey
7:25 $0.99
13. Edge Of The Sky
3:47 $0.99
14. Manana
3:19 $0.99
15. Brocade
7:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A retrospective compilation of lively World Fusion Music representing many of the highlights of David and Randy's long, illustrious partnership. David plays a wide array of unusual stringed instruments, Randy a plethora of wind instruments, with appearances from 16 talented guest artists including ethnic music masters and members of major symphonies (Benjy Wertheimer, Michael Mandrell, Joe Euro, Matthew Montfort, Christopher of the Wolves, Mark Eubanks, David Ritt, Rick Henderson, Shelley Phillips to name some. In all, over 40 instruments from five continents grace this generous 73 minutes of music designed to sweep you through the centuries and around the world.

"An abundance of riches"
- Dirty Linen Magazine

"The prolific David Michael and Randy Mead chronicle their three decades of musical explorations on this "best of"disc. With so much great work to choose from, narrowing it down to these 15 cuts must have been agony and long time fans will no doubt find a favorite missing at some point. Still, this is a five-star, can't miss record: beautiful, exhilarating, thought provoking and continuously delightful. The selections emphasize rhythms and
instruments from non-Western cultures, tied together by Michael's harp and Mead's flute. The percussion instruments are particularly well applied, with attention not just to the beat but the very sounds and moods created by the
varieties of drums. Several tracks fuse the non-Western elements to some very western jazz, as on "Forest Evening" and "Spirit Rising" with their saxophones and the uproarious "Reflections of a Journey", which seems to
cover the entire careers of the artists in one tune -punctuated by the preposterous rumblings of a "tubephone"! As with all Purnima productions, the sound quality, engineering and recording mastering are absolutely
astonishing, making the music that much more enthralling." (Tom Petersen)
- Victory review, February 2006

Latest review from New Age Reporter:

Music World
Purnima Productions (2005)

I’m guessing that this is a career retrospective recording from this duo (and all their guest artists, who are way too numerous to mention here), since in the liner notes it states “David Michael and Randy Mead began their musical partnership in 1973. They have since performed and recorded internationally with a plethora of superb musicians. Music World represents some of their highlights.” Well, the word “highlights” is no exaggeration. This disc contains fifteen great world beat/world fusion pieces, which offer a veritable smorgasbord of influences, from the Middle East to the Far East, from Africa to the Americas, from the Mediterranean to the Pacific Rim, and all of it done with a true love of music by all concerned. As far as I’m concerned, this recording is essential for world music fans, period. It’s a lively (for the most part) joyous celebration of melting-pot multi-culturalism played out in both melody and rhythm (the percussion on the CD is uniformly excellent).

Michael plays all manner of stringed instruments (e.g. harp, guitars, and zithers) as well as some percussion, while Mead contributes on all kinds of wind instruments (flutes, saxes, whistle) and some discretely applied synthesizers. The list of guest stars numbers no less than sixteen, so singling anyone out is, I think, pointless. Music World is the literal definition of “ensemble” playing, and as such, it is a joyous thing indeed.

How do I detail just a few of the fifteen tracks on the album and not feel like I am slighting the others? Despite this dilemma, I’ll try to give you enough info to whet your musical appetites. The title track starts things off with flute, harp and frenetic percussion, yet flowing with a sense of mystery along with urgency. “Bright Morning” ushers in on a tamboura drone and acoustic guitar (nice juxtaposition there), joined by tabla pounding out a cheerful and lively beat, and soon a lovely flute and Michael’s harp are added to the mix. It’s a delightful tune, filled with an innocence and sense of “love of life” that is unmistakable. “Forest Evening” begins with bell trees, assorted wind instruments (including what I think is a bassoon!), and acoustic guitar. While the track’s rhythm (played on tabla and other hand percussion) injects spirit into the mix, the overall mood is appropriate to the song’s title, i.e. one can imagine a forest coming alive at night as all the woodland creatures come out to prance and play. “Distant Mountains” reminded me at the outset of a blend of Shadowfax and guitarist Scott Moulton’s work. There is a hint of awe and power in the melody, yet the guitar’s liveliness provides a sense of energy to the music. The flute work here floats and soars over the bedrock guitar and it’s so beautiful to hear, so affirming and full of optimism. Music World overflows with a feeling of well-being and why shouldn’t it? After all, it may be a cliché but it’s also true that music is the universal language and unites all of us as one people like nothing else can.

I could go on for many more words extolling the virtues of this flawless CD, but in the end, you simply need to hear it for yourself. Only then can you tap into the joy and happiness that this music will almost certainly bring you. Music does indeed have charms to soothe the savage beast, and in today’s crazy world, is there a more savage beast than ourselves (sadly)? So, do yourself a favor. Gather some friends together, have everyone bring food and drink from a different country, put Music World on the CD player, and just have yourselves a wonderful time, exploring the many wonders and delights that this wide world full of many cultures holds out to the open mind (and heart!). Thanks to these musicians you already have the perfect soundtrack for the evening. Recommended without any reservation whatsoever, especially for acoustic ensemble devotees.

Bill Binkelman
Music Reviewer
New Age Reporter



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