David Byrne again.....you may ask yourself, 'what is a dakini?' Wonderful things, those dakinis, gotta have 'em. They are the female sky travelers in Tibetan Buddhism. Great bliss emanates from them at all times. Needless to say, they are very cool, as well as being incredibly compassionate and wise. So here in Dakini Land I hope to give you fun stuff, compassionate stuff, stuff full of loving kindness and wisdom. That's a lot of stuff. And, please, do whatever you can to support the cause for Tibetan independence. Like not buying goods made in China--a very difficult thing to do. Read about what is happening there. Tell your friends, your acquaintances, even people you don't happen to like too much...write your senators and congressmen/women, the president and the vice-president. Please. Now--about the music.... '...a talented, adventurous performer...(Dakini Land) is a fascinating album, a collection of her silken vocal interpretations...' Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times '...like summer smoke at dusk....slightly mysterious and terribly inviting...' Neil Tesser, author of The Playboy Guide To Jazz '...able to color phrases with heart stopping sensuality and fluid virtuosity...' Tom Stoudt, Jazz Critic '...(her) kahlua-creamy voice often has an added shot of vodka for a rhythmic punctuation...' Philadelphia Inquirer '...a superb storyteller...splendid timing and phrasing...(Dakini Land is) a celebratory and irresistible collection...' Sounds of Timeless Jazz.com '...Montgomery's smoky voice floats...invites freedom, but, like a crystal bowl, keeps the collection of musical thoughts contained inside a glistening boundary...' Philadelphia Daily News '...a silky, soft focus voice ...an intimate, misty quality...able to negotiate octave leaps and quick-step sequences...' George Kanzler, Newark Star Ledger '...(her) voice is an excellent example of how control, feeling, and emotion can combine to create an aura so confident and musical....never losing her way, staying true to the song....twisting, turning, weaving, and riding along with the melody, she floats with a seductive tone...' Randy McElligott, jazzreview.com '...(her ballads are) subtle, sleek, smooth, spare...with a classy touch...' John Barrett, Jr., Jazz Improv '...the ice cream blonde with the black coffee jazz voice...' Donald Van Deusan, Jazz Critic '...If Montgomery were a trumpeter instead of a singer, she would be reminiscent of Chet Baker and early Miles Davis...she swings like Cool School favorites Chris Conner and June Christy...' Alex Henderson, Jazz Critic DAKINI LAND, the new CD 'Beautiful...' Chick Corea And I swear I have never met the person who wrote this--he got the CD and some bio information and this is what he came up with...I thank him for his kind words: 'Described once as an 'ice cream blond with a black coffee jazz voice,' resplendent vocalist Barbara Montgomery announces the release of her most accomplished and spirited CD yet--'Dakini Land,' a 10-song collection centered on the evocative compositions of keyboard master Chick Corea. Produced by Montgomery along with her pianist and frequent collaborator, Barry Sames, 'Dakini Land' features contributions from a host of stellar musicians, including trumpet-flugelhorn ace Terrell Stafford and violinist John Blake. Both 'Dakini Land' and Montgomery's acclaimed 1999 album, 'Ask Me Now,' are issued by the songstress's own recording label, Mr. Bean & Bumpy Music, Inc. In the liner notes to 'Dakini Land' Montgomery explains that the title of her new CD is taken from Tibet Buddhism, whose adherents believe in 'dakinis'--angel-like figures with protective and playful powers. 'My last album was reflective and quiet, and now it was time to lighten up,' the vocalist remarked recently. Two years ago she'd found herself immersed in the music of Chick Corea, particularly the title piece to his 1972 duet album with vibraphonist Gary Burton, 'Crystal Silence.' That song prompted the idea of a tribute album. Montgomery then received Corea's blessing to use and re-arrange a generous selection of his compositions. Included were five songs with lyrics by Neville Potter along with 'Highwire', lyrics by Tony Cohen. Montgomery cast an additional four tunes to complete the album. The magnificent results on 'Dakini Land' are evident from the first bars of the album's opener, 'What Game Shall We Play Today'. Together with session bassist par excellence Chico Huff and special guest Father John D'Amico on piano, Montgomery navigates the tricky melody with utter charm and confidence, setting the stage for one bravura performance after another. Similar uptempo numbers--'Highwire,' '500 Miles High' (a smoking rendition fueled by Stafford and Bob Meashey on trumpets) and 'Miles to Go,' one of three Montgomery-Sames originals that use Corea's rhythmic and melodic sensibilities as a springboard--reinforce the album's joyous, celebratory ambience. The most irresistible element of 'Dakini Land,' though, is Montgomery's winning vocals. Whether she's swinging her way through the propulsive grooves of 'The Reason Why/Porque,' another original, or deliciously gracing ballads like 'Crystal Silence' and 'Like a Lover,' Montgomery proves on 'Dakini Land' that she belongs in the top echelon of jazz singers and vocal interpreters at work today, able to color phrases with heart-stopping sensuality and fluid virtuosity. Although Montgomery has stated that she knew she was destined to be a singer by the age of 5, the route to her glowing achievements on 'Dakini Land' has been an interesting and circuitous one, to say the least. Born in Berkeley, California, she spent many of her childhood years living in what was then South Vietnam, where her father worked as a civilian engineer. She witnessed much of the chaos and insurrection of the war in Saigon. Later, Montgomery graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and sang in some of Philadelphia's jazz clubs while working in TV production, including the nationally syndicated 'The Mike Douglas Show.' She was often enthralled by such jazz luminaries as Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, and Tony Bennett who guested on the program. Montgomery's studio and stage savvy continued to grow, and eventually she became a highly-sought music producer, with clients like fitness maven Richard Simmons and entertainer Sandi Patty. All the while she found time and energy to home-school her son and daughter. When Montgomery recorded her self-titled debut CD out on the West Coast several years ago,it signaled to the world at large that she was ready to focus on her musical gifts and artistry. With 'Ask Me Now' and the just-released, 'Dakini Land', she can be thought of as a captivating chanteuse who certainly deserves all the praise and attention she receives.'
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