Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Natalie Rose LeBrecht - Mandarava Rose (Galtta Media, 2019)

Oh man, the Galtta crew is on a roll this year.  First came the Ron Tomas & John Swana cassette and now we are treated to this delightful reel of magnetic bliss.  Natalie Rose LeBrecht is a songwriter who has spent much of the last decade away from releasing music, instead focusing on the exploration of meditation and hypnosis.  She turned her focus inward.  We are blessed to be able to experience her music again.

Mandarava Rose is an introspective exercise, one that is lush and flourishing with an intrinsic life force.  LeBrecht unfurls piano and organ, and croons with a voice that is equally diaphanous and dynamic.  For this collection of compositions, she brought Galtta label head David Lackner on board to add flute and sax adornments.  These embellishments serve the compositions well, without overtaking LeBrecht’s incredibly hypnotic piano lines and incredibly fascinating vocal incantations.

LeBrecht draws inspiration from Alice Coltrane, even going so far as to dedicate lead off track “Rishi Stars” to the legendary composer under her Sanskrit name, Turiyasangitananda.  The piece is a whirlwind of piano, synth and voice – one that swirls, swoops and swerves like plumes of smoke around a room.  “Rosebud & Lotus” is a more melody-forward piece, with subtle accompaniment from Lackner’s saxophone and an incredibly powerful vocal performance.  The relatively short “Lost” is almost sprightly, with a delightful piano passage and intertwining sax/voice melodies.

Realistically, it’s better to hear Mandarava Rose rather than listen to me faun all over these incredibly moving compositions.  Thankfully there are still copies left at the Galtta Bandcamp, so let your fingers do the walking and allow yourself to float away on these delicious clouds of harmony.