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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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By Cornell Kinderknecht
Label: Little Greyhound Music
Nightfall tracks
1. Painted Sky, Genesis  
2. Nightfall  
3. Mother's Hands  
4. Water  
5. Southwest Prelude  
6. Santa Fe Sunset  
7. Mystic Heart  
8. At the Divide  
9. Alaska Highway  
10. Nocturne  
11. Gratitude  
12. Heart Crossing  
13. Day's End  
Music That Goes Lightly at Dark
I have never heard a Native American flute played as if it had classical and modern music wings before, but Cornell Kinderknect's new album has just that feel. It is not so much formal sounding as it is structured. The instrument expresses that it is guided rather than let free. His album Nightfall has thirteen tracks of Native American flute or perhaps, more aptly contemporary flute, and light ensemble that is pure pleasure. Kinderknecht plays several kinds of wind-powered instruments including bamboo flute, ocarina, Native American flute and Bansuri flute. Joining him on Nightfall is Cynthia Stuart on keyboards and Billy Bucher on various percussion instruments.

Opening with a bright phrase, the first tune Painted Sky, Genesis is literally a good beginning. I had a bit of a time reconciling the sound of the Native American flute with a contemporary tune, but Kinderknecht pulls it off artistically and the blend is surprisingly soothing. It is cloud music, or sun worshipping music and even music for a perfect sunset, with all the gold and crimson the eye can muster. After the first listen, I knew I was in for a treat. I was not disappointed.

Dusky, echoing flute makes a ghostly appearance in the tune Nightfall. Somewhere inside there has to be a flutter of owl’s wings and the blinking of starlight. The moon plays tag with the scurrying clouds and the darkness bodes well. Soon the clandestine life that really fills the soul will commence. Trees will sway, flowers will nod and a different heat will fill the night.

Mystic Heart is an emotional song that values the depth that only love can delve. It has a Chuck Greenburg feel to it. Kind of soft and silky, but with enough power to make your spirit fly. Stuart's piano is strong, but not overpowering as the duet's warmth carries you along. It begs the question, "Why do you even love me with all my faults?" The answer is hidden in the notes and as simple as the melody itself. A really touching song.

There is more night music on the cut Nocturne. The gentleness of this tune far outweighs anything that Ignace Leybach ever penned, but a nocturne is music appreciated for its evocative ability to turn on the night. What sounds like Tibetan bowls opens the tune and it transforms into a lonely song, but the flute makes a rift in the nighttime and opens it to discovery. There are western overtones in the mix, making it forlorn as if the vastness of the desert is all around and the soul has lost its direction. In essence, Kinderknecht has ingeniously joined together East and West to produce this beautifully haunting tune.

Day's End has a smoky Samba feel to it. It is a fitting tune to finish the album. Spanish guitar glides along with the flute or perhaps ocarina to add that smoldering touch of South America. The time is now to rendezvous and let your hearts intertwine as the sun slips away. How many careless hours do you have before the light of day once again puts a critical light on what you dream?

Nightfall is a time of discovery for the creative mind. Poets, artists and writers seem to sense when the sun goes down and their creative juices begin flow like welcome April rain. For many it is also a time of peace. They take refuge in the night like crickets who sing louder when the stars, blazing like crystal diamonds, fill the darkness with their special magic. Cornell Kinderknecht's flute makes the night that much more secure, soothing and above all, satisfying. I enjoyed every cut.

Rating: Good +   Good +
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 2/6/2009
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