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Album Review: Ambrosia
Peter Kater
Cover image of the album Ambrosia by Peter Kater
Ambrosia
Peter Kater
2008 / Point of Light Records
49 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Ambrosia is Volume 3 in Peter Kater’s “Healing Series.” The CD cover says that this is “Music for Purification, Inspiration, Exaltation, and Self Expression;” I might add “relaxation and pure listening enjoyment.” I would also caution the listener that what it is NOT is music to wake up to - it fails miserably in that regard as I slept through the whole CD both times I had it in my wake-up alarm. I expect that this news will delight Kater and crew rather than offending them, considering the nature of the music. The quartet of musicians is Peter Kater in his usual place on the piano bench, Jaques Morelenbaum on cello, Richard Hardy on bamboo flute and zaphoon, and Pete Korpela on “ambient percussion.” The combination of flute, piano, and cello is a hauntingly beautiful one that soothes and refreshes, and the music is slow, graceful, and incredibly moving. Peter Kater is one of the most prolific composers on the planet, and it never ceases to amaze me how consistently high the quality of his music is - he never disappoints. The six tracks on Ambrosia contain elements of improvisation, and the artists play together seamlessly with no one trying to stay in the forefront - a true collaboration with egos set aside and the focus on the music.

The album begins with “The Yearning,” a pensive piece that introduces all four artists. More ambient than melodic, it sets a quiet mood and seduces the listener into a dreamy state of mind. “At Heaven’s Gate” is a 10 1/2 minute duet for bamboo flute and piano. One would be hard-pressed to find a more restful, dreamy piece of music. My favorite combination of musical instruments is piano and cello, and “Reconciliation” is an amazing reminder of the evocative sound they create together. The cello is smooth and sensual against the more percussive quality of the piano. What a beauty! The title track is a bit lighter and more fluid. All four artists play on this one, creating a magical spell. “Exaltation” begins in the low register of the piano along with a mysterious drone on the flute. The interplay with flute and piano continues, along with gentle and exotic percussion - gorgeous! “Temperance” again combines all four artists and sounds like it is mostly improvised - free and from the heart.

Ambrosia is a delightful addition to the Healing Series and can be found at peterkater.com, amazon.com, cdbaby.com, and iTunes. Recommended!
June 19, 2009
This review has been tagged as:
Grammy Nominees
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