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01-21-16    Gaea Star Crystal Radio Hour #198 begins with a downward eastern scale on the piano, a quick bird call from the flute and a flourish from the congas as Mariam Massaro, Bob Sherwood and Craig Harris of the Gaea Star Band begin Mariam’s lush “Goodbye Happy New Year”.  A beautiful minor improvised song of slowly rising intensity, the piece moves gradually to major as the sun rises in Mariam’s spare and spacious poetry.  “Mountain Of Life” finds Mariam strumming a tight progression on the baritone ukulele against Craig’s eternal groove, Bob’s piano dancing above like a busy, impatient bird.   A lovely, timeless quality emerges as Mariam spins a lyric of opportunity and choice and the band sets up a tense, insistent Afro-Cuban groove and Bob lights up a series of fiery, neurotic piano licks.  “Zebulon and Lorenzo The Dragon” is a pretty, dulcimer-driven folk tale in the finest Mariam Massaro tradition with tight marimbas from Craig and a late-entering piano fanfare from Bob.  A sweeping, misty coda, lush with echoes and Mariam’s lovely melismas leads into “I Am Whole And Complete In All Of Me”.  This compelling, mysterious piece is characterized by Mariam’s dramatic vocal over a dreamy, romantic rhythm of marimba and piano.  Mariam moves to sitar and Dameron Midgett joins us on didjeridoo for an eastern-styled Solstice prayer called “In The Stillness Of The Night”.

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