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Album Review: Red Moon
Peter Kater
Cover image of the album Red Moon by Peter Kater
Red Moon
Peter Kater
2003 / Silver Wave Records
60 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Red Moon is Peter Kater’s Grammy-nominated CD for Best New Age album of 2003. It is an ensemble collection of pieces with a very Native American yet contemporary flavor, a style Kater is as noted for as he is solo piano. Red Moon features Kater on piano and synthesizers, but he is not the dominating musician on most tracks, allowing his stellar guest musicians to shine fully. These musicians include Mary Youngblood on Native American flute; R. Carlos Nakai on vocals, flute, and eagle bone whistle; Chenoa Egawa and Robert Mirabal on vocals; Paul McCandless working his magic on penny whistle, sax, oboe, and duduk; and Tony Levin on bass guitar. Many of the tracks are upbeat and rhythmic, while others are a bit more soulful and subdued. Five of the eleven tracks contain vocals in Native American languages and chants, which are very enjoyable and interesting, but, as usual, I much prefer the instrumentals, which absolutely soar.

“Night Realm” opens the collection with percussion, duduk, and flute, and then piano and later vocal. This is a fascinating piece because it’s impossible to classify. There are jazz, Native American, and other ethnic influences, but it is still uniquely itself - a joyful blending of all of these ingredients. “Deep Waters” adds an element of mystery with a rhythmic backdrop for the dark and sensuous flutes and sax. “Only In Your Arms” is one of the few mostly piano pieces, and it’s both gorgeous and deeply passionate. Nakai’s flute and McCandless’ oboe enhance the depth of feeling. Other instrumentation is also added, but Kater’s piano sings through. “The West” has the feeling of a movie soundtrack - a field Kater has a lot of experience in. Another rhythmic piece, this one is mostly piano and Native American flute, and is darkly beautiful. “Never Ending Journey” is one of my favorites, and features Ara Tokatlian on pincullo flute. With jazz tinges, the flute, piano, and guitar really take flight - a great piece! “This Moment” is more of a smooth jazz piece with piano and flute as well as percussion and synth washes. “Dream Catcher” is an almost ethereal slow dance, again mostly flute and piano, and so soulful and passionate - another favorite!

Peter Kater has once again shown why he is one of my favorite artists. This is a great album whether you are new to Kater’s music or a longtime fan. It is available from amazon.com, peterkater.com, and www.silverwave.com. Recommended!
January 6, 2004
This review has been tagged as:
Grammy Nominees
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