Perihelion...The Turning Point
Al Jewer and Andy Mitran
2018 / Two Trees Innerworld Publishing
Review by Kathy Parsons
Perihelion...The Turning Point is the ninth album from the award-winning duo, Al Jewer and Andy Mitran. Their last five albums have been nominated for Zone Music Reporter Awards and have won twice. In addition to their recordings, Al and Andy have written hundreds of pieces for the Oprah Winfrey Show that can now be heard across the Oprah Winfrey Network as well as on the Dr. Oz show. The partners have created well over a thousand pieces of music for albums, television, film and commercials. As they have done on previous albums, Al and Andy recruited a very impressive list of guest artists and collaborators that include Miriam Stockley, Erik Scott, Sherry Finzer, Lisa Downing and Richard Gannaway.
The album is a narrative of a journey of rebirth and enlightenment. Quoting the liner notes of the CD, “As the earth travels around the sun we travel the path of our life. …. Every time the earth travels around the sun it reaches its perihelion, the moment when the earth is closest to the sun. …. Spiritual awakening is the perihelion in our life’s orbit. This album is about these moments in human life.” Blending new age, world, ambient and mindful music, the fourteen tracks offer a fresh beginning for the listener.
Perihelion opens with “Gathering Heart,” which features Al Jewer on a variety of flutes and triple ocarina, Andy Mitran on percussion and keyboards, and Erik Scott on bass. Exotic and rhythmic, it depicts the preparation time needed before any journey. Both relaxed and energetic, it’s an intriguing start! “First Step” is very spare and open with the rhythm of a graceful slow dance. Violin (Biff Blumfumgagnge), flute, bass, percussion and keyboards create a dreamy atmosphere with feelings of serenity. “Eternal” features the buoyant lead vocals of Miriam Stockley along with a small choir of other voices in addition to bouzouki (Gannaway), flutes, percussion, keyboards and bass (Bob Lizik). “Reflection” has a slow, easy grace that suggests having all the time in the world to look within and without. Michelle Qureshi appears on guitar. “Awakening” is one of my favorites and features Peter Phippen on shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). Gently rhythmic with a peaceful exotic feeling, it blends several cultural traditions for a unique and very pleasant sonic experience. Sherry Finzer appears on bass flute on “The Space Between” along with violin, Native flute, piano and percussion. More ambient than many of the tracks, the slow, graceful flow and the low pitch of most of the instruments is sooo soothing! The title track marks the “moment of enlightenment, catharsis and transition” and is expressed in a very uplifting style with a variety of instruments. Sherry Finzer returns in “Welcoming Light,” the celebration of starting off in a new direction. Warm and jazzy, Finzer and Jewer play alto flutes - one on the right channel and one on the left. I really like this one, too! “Journey with the Moon” features one of my favorite pianist/composers, Lisa Downing. Slow, open, and very haunting, this lovely piece includes cello, flutes, synth and percussion in addition to the piano - also a favorite track! “Full Circle” savors “sweet satisfaction as we finish one chapter and think forward to the next,” and brings this beautiful album to a peaceful close.
Perihelion...The Turning Point is available from www.al-andy.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.
December 4, 2018