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Indigo Trio: The Ethiopian Princess Meets the Tantric Priest

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Flutist Nicole Mitchell’s Indigo Trio has captured the joy and reverence befitting the pursuit of Divine Consciousness as is practiced in the Tantric tradition in its album, The Ethiopian Princess Meets the Tantric Priest. Mitchell’s compositions are translated to sound by her trio which includes bassist Harrison Bankhead and drummer Hamid Drake. Flutist Michel Edelin joins the group. The title tune is a creation of all four musicians.

Not once is the music on this recording dour or bluesy; rather it is tenaciously upbeat, rhythmic and inspires quiet contemplation as well. Always on top of the melody, Mitchell unfolds her technical prowess. Her flute line is often literally echoed by Edelin’s to form coherent high and low pitch synchronizations. Drake and Bankhead add nothing but sparkle and depth to Mitchell’s every flutter, slur or clear ringing instrumental tone; vocalized bird-like tweets; and distinct precise notes bitten off with the certainty that accompanies the mastery which Mitchell has achieved with her piccolo and flutes. Ethiopian Princess is reminiscent of a Coltrane quartet recording, where the ‘rhythm section’ works like crazy to keep up with the lead instrument.

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