Terence Kemp McKenna (November 16, 1946 - April 3, 2000) was an American researcher, philosopher, speaker, spiritual teacher and writer on many subjects. His works are wide-scoped, ranging from consciousness, the human experience, psychedelic substances and their role in societies, evolution of civilizations, origin of the universe to aliens.
Whereas Zuvuya's first effort with Terence McKenna dwelled in the world of drifting ambience and psych-textures, "Shamania" manages to encompass many worlds of sounds (and a couple of dimensions too) to produce something that manages to almost touch base in the various camps of dance, ambience, and ethnic sounds, including an effective use of tribal chants and didj but never settles permanently anywhere. Like some soundtrack for deep space travel, Zuvuya are distinctly far out and gone (to a weird planet).
The Grammy-winning trumpeter/composer returns to his jazz-renaissance roots with a set steeped in the glossy hues and tones of New York City at night. Blanchard’s score for the soundtrack of Robert De Niro’s new film captures a late-life crisis with jaunty blues, brooding balladry and svelte modern jazz. The mood-setting themes have strong melodies and rhythmic edge, and with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane stretching out and on-form pianist Kenny Barron leading a classy rhythm section, the jazz is for real. Blanchard pares his playing of excess, and plays beautifully.
Dave McKenna made a remarkably piano solo debut in 1955 with the fifteen tunes he recorded for ABC Paramount (1-15). The remaining tracks on this compilation also come from a solo album, one he cut almost eight years later for the label Realm. Playing without a rhythm section, a key challenge for a jazz pianist, McKenna accomplished a recital of lasting value and pleasure. He plays with strength, individuality, fine beat and technique, and constant taste in all tempos. He is a wonderfully co-ordinated two-handed pianist.
Constance Demby is one of the few representatives of the New Age movement (in both her music and her personal philosophies) who consistently creates artistic, highly expressive compositions. Demby was trained in classical music as a child, and her artistic spirit led her to also master several other art forms; at the University of Michigan, she studied painting, sculpture, and music. It was her work as a sculptor that led her to new dimensions of sound. As she was torching a sheet of metal, it roared thunderously, and thus was born the Sonic Steel Instruments: the Whale Sail, and the Space Bass, enormous bowed instruments with deep archetypal resonances.