Gaea Star Crystal Radio Hour #265

06-08-17  Gaea Star Crystal Radio Hour #265 was taped live at Singing Brook Studio on a beautiful mid-May afternoon and features the Gaea Star Band with Mariam Massaro on vocals, native flute, acoustic guitar, celtic harp and ukulele, Bob Sherwood on piano and Craig Harris on congas and percussion.  Today we are pleased to be joined by saxophonist Martin Jones who brings a breathy, late-night jazz feel with his unusually lyrical and beautifully deployed sax work.  Today’s first number is the lush improv piece “Praying For The Water”, a jazzy, gospel-influenced ballad with visionary lyrics and melody from Mariam.  Martin’s epic tenor saxophone paints languid watercolors over a mesmerizing piano and conga rhythm section.  A series of dizzying heights and shaded, lush pianissimo passages underpin Mariam’s inspired prayer until the scene shifts to an elemental, native vibe with Mariam’s soaring native flute taking center stage for the sweetly gospel-toned third movement.  Mariam picks up her tenor ukulele to lead the ensemble into the stately, minor gypsy air “Nadahey”, a mysterious, evocative mermaid love story driven by hypnotizing piano and drums and enriched with Martin’s breathy, eastern saxophone.  “Emeraldina The Fire-Bright Dragon” begins with a sunny, ukulele-led jazz groove before grooving into a saxophone-drenched samba decorated with delightful scat singing from Mariam.  “Catarina Della Rose” is a misty ballad of a maiden who feels joy in life and in nature, decorated with more fine saxophone commentary from Martin and “Diddy Bop Frenchy Rainbow” is a Bayou blues with Ray Charles barrelhouse piano from Bob and a Cajun rock and roll vocal from Mariam.

Gaea Star Crystal Radio Hour #264

06-01-17  Gaea Star Crystal Radio Hour #264 features songs and improvised acoustic music from The Gaea Star Band with Mariam Massaro on vocals, native flute, acoustic guitar, ukulele and dulcimer, Bob Sherwood on piano and Craig Harris on congas.  We begin with the shaded, bluesy “Love Is For Troops” an ode to love and devotion featuring Mariam’s visionary lyrics and sweeping native flute.  “Majesty” flares from the embers of the first piece, beautifully melancholy in tone, again decorated with long, hypnotic native flute passages.  A fanfare of distant dulcimer announce the enchanted folk song “Moonlight Symphony”, a magical, dancing piece devoted to the music of the night featuring flurrying, Chopin-inspired piano from Bob.  A coda built around a lush, romantic chord sequence wraps up the piece with flourishes of piano electronics.  “Where Are We Going” is built around Mariam’s stately ukulele and introduces minimalist gospel piano and percolating congas into an airy, gorgeous song devoted to the mystery of the future.  Mariam plays acoustic guitar for “Everything Melts Away”, a vast, floating song that celebrates life and the transience of life with a beautiful ache.  “Lavender Lilacs” a pretty folk song we first explored in 2013 returns in a fine version that blooms around a lively, vivid conga figure.  Closing today is a gorgeous, rich version of Mariam’s sun prayer “Solare” driven by Mariam’s flamenco guitar and dramatic piano and congas.

Gaea Star Crystal Radio Hour #263

05-25-17  Gaea Star Crystal Radio Hour #263 was taped at Singing Brook Studio with Mariam Massaro on vocals, native flute, acoustic guitar, ukulele and dulcimer, Craig Harris on congas and balaphone and Bob Sherwood on piano.  We begin today with the languid, mystical prayer “I’m Grateful”, a song that weaves poetry praising every moment around a minimalist piano figure with sweeping native flute and elemental drums.  “Oh Hummingbird” is built around an unusual ukulele pattern, summer poetry and an accompaniment that brings to mind a misty early summer morning.  “Shalom” is a beautiful, lush song that greets the world with praise and wonder above an elemental, gospel feel.  A second movement follows the great, this time leaning deeper into the gospel vibe as Mariam duets with her plaintive native flute.  The last two songs are built around Mariam’s chiming dulcimer and a sure groove that grows in intensity as the music builds.  “All Life Unfolds” has a psychedelic, eastern feel with an insistent low end and “Smile” carries an eldritch scent of deep forests and magical moonlit rituals.

Gaea Star Crystal Radio Hour #262

05-18-17  Gaea Star Crystal Radio Hour #262 was taped at Singing Brook Studio in Worthington, Massachusetts and features songs by Mariam Massaro and improvisations from the Gaea Star Band with Mariam on vocals, native flute, sitar, acoustic guitar and ukelele, Craig Harris on congas and balaphone, Bob Sherwood on piano and special guest Chris O’Connell playing Tibetan bowl on “Preservation Of The Ancient Ways”.  We begin today with the swinging blues folk of “Symphony Of Spring” a celebration of winters’ end, light hearted and jazzy and featuring unbridled blues eighty-eights from Bob.  “Ode To The Toads” expresses gratitude for nature with a gorgeous progressive rock groove and an impassioned vocal from Mariam.  Sheets of electronically treated piano usher in the hypnotic “Finding Sweet Sweet Sounds”, a minimalist, sensual piece with poetry from Mariam in praise of creative solitude with a funky rhythm section of acoustic guitar, congas and piano.  A climactic chorus section yields to the second movement “Reign It Back”, a lush series of classical passages decorated with native flute, thumb piano and vocals from Mariam.  Beautiful, busy and ornate, the gorgeous “Reign It Back” is the soundtrack for a series of dreams from Mariam. The final movement “Into A Sea Of Love” is impassioned and filled with a beautiful pathos, grooving gently to Craig’s congas and Mariam’s kalimba until it vanishes in a quick series of strange, disquieting piano figures.  Mariam sits at her sitar for “Preservation of the Ancient Ways”, Bob plays the 12-string acoustic guitar and we bring in Chris O’Connell for the singing bowl.  A hip, raga-rock opening section gradually falls away to a hypnotic prayer with lush, visionary vocals from Mariam.