11-16-23 Gaea Star Crystal Radio Hour #551 is an hour of visionary acoustic improvised music played by The Gaea Star Band with Mariam Massaro on vocals, Native flute, acoustic guitar, harmonica and ukulele, Bob Sherwood on piano and Craig Harris on Native drum and congas. Recorded live at Singing Brook Studio in Worthington, Massachusetts in early November of 2023, today’s show begins with the drifting, searching ballad “Serenity”, a mystical piece distinguished by a lovely and inspiring vocal from Mariam and Bob’s busy baroque-blues twists on the piano. “Rays Of Light” is a classic song from Mariam, a languid waltz characterized by beautiful images of dancing light and dancing people with a fine vocal from Mariam and swinging waltz-time congas from Craig. For the striking, dramatic “Mandalas” Bob deploys a powerful, repetitive piano motif that evokes open spaces and adventure as he and Craig’s powerful, fundamental Native drum and Mariam’s chiming, dead-on ukulele set deep roots for Mariam’s beautiful, subtle vocal. A gorgeous, filigreed coda that we will call “Perhaps” adds yet another dimension to this standout track with Mariam’s energized Native flute, profound poetry and an innovative, space-jazz piano motif from Bob surfing Craig’s earthen Native drum groove. A standout.
“Star Ray” is a shuffling, up-town blues with fine harmonica work from Mariam over a somewhat Ray Charles-influenced series of piano figurations from Bob and the band moves east for the elegant raga “Release Me” as Mariam concurrently strums her sitar and plays the shruti box as she weaves tales through the haze of the evocative, psychedelic rhythm section. Another unusually compelling track during this charmed session, Mariam’s vocal work is particularly assured. Continuing in an incense haze of droning sitar and steady congas embracing compelling modal piano excursions, “Mighty Are The Wings Of Love” explores a stately tempo to support Mariam’s powerful vocal and the wide, spacious soundstage provides room for Bob’s bittersweet piano journey, a gorgeous, yearning, beautifully doomed attempt at reaching Heaven.
Learn more about Mariam here: http://www.mariammassaro.com