Circle of Fire

Circle of Fire CD Cover

by Benjy Wertheimer

Cave Hand

Ancient-Future.Com 2002. Wolf Club Music. CD- $16.98:

 

#1 NAV Chart, November 2002.

This drum CD from award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist Benjy Wertheimer is an extraordinary dance journey through the music of many cultures around the world. The album's influences range from rock, funk and jazz to West African, Indonesian and Indian folk and classical traditions. Many moods are woven throughout the CD, inviting the dancers fully into their bodies and inspiring them to take themselves through the full spectrum of expressive movement.

Bio

A founding member of the internationally acclaimed world fusion music ensemble, Ancient Future, Benjy has studied Indian classical music for over 20 years with some of the greatest masters of that tradition (including Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, Ali Akbar Khan and Z. M. Dagar). An award-winning songwriter, composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist (playing tabla, congas, percussion, esraj, guitar, and keyboards), Benjy has toured the US, Canada, and Japan with renowned bamboo flute master G.S. Sachdev and has opened for such artists as Carlos Santana, Paul Winter, and Narada Michael Walden. For over five years, Benjy scored music for the internationally syndicated NBC series Santa Barbara. He has recorded with numerous artists on such labels as A&M, Windham Hill, Narada, Nippon Phonogram, Rounder and Global Pacific, and was a contributing composer/member of the Zakir Hussain Rhythm Experience (along with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead).

Review

"Benjy Wertheimer, noted master of Indian classical music, has raised the bar of fusion music with his album, Circle of Fire. Here is the integration of electronic with acoustic and music that offers the desire to get up and dance with the need to take stock of your self and your world. Benjy, formerly with the famed Ancient Future band, has assembled a group of gifted artists perfect for playing his music. Tim Ellis, Jeff Leonard and Randy Mead bring a huge variety of western and eastern musical instruments to express the true meaning of this multi-cultural love. And the vocals by Heather Wertheimer and Jim Walker add the icing to this musical melange cake. The meaning of these original compositions is facilitated by tabla, congas, djembe, and esraj, as well as drums (of many varieties), guitar, flute, keyboard and sax. The result is a marriage of contemporary with historic in an inspiration to bring cultures together. Indeed, Circle of Fire puts additional meaning in the word, harmony. While Benjy Wertheimer has composed and arranges this wonderful album of ambient music, he has also given us songs that are involving and inspirational. And that inspiration is to replace our cultural differences with cultural similarities. Circle of Fire succeeds on every level, bringing the listener a message of love. Circle of Fire, in this reviewer’s opinion, offers a look at the future of music. Benjy Wertheimer, who also gives us the Soul of the Esraj album, has a gift that he shares with the world. Our world!"Richard Fuller, Senior Editor, Metaphysical Review

Airplay:

#1 NAV Chart, November 2002.

Track List

  1. Amba Parameshwari (8:11)
  2. Hare Krishna (6:36)
  3. Durge (9:01)
  4. Shiva Invocation (3:32)
  5. Jaya Shambho (11:02)
  6. Nataraja (13:06)
  7. Om Mata Kali (10:18)
  8. Purnamadah (8:35)