Natural History (aka Jared Shapiro, Barry Hyman and Derrik Jordan) have been breaking the multi-cultural sound barrier since 1974, weaving sounds, instruments and styles from every corner of the planet into a intricate and spontaneous musical tapestry. They have spent nearly three decades exploring shamanistic trance music, Afro-Celtic grooves, improvisation with singing animals, modal ragas, cross-cultural dance music, hillbilly-tribal fusion, and ecstatic chants. Their sound is like nothing else: wild, unpredictable, playful, fearless, healing and always resplendent with humor and joy. All of the music on this CD was recorded live, with no overdubbing and no studio tricks, so as to capture the extraordinary improvisational spirit and spontaneity that is Natural History. Natural History Native Tongues (Worldsoul 2000) What right do three white guys from the chilly Northeast have to play 'multi-ethnic' music? The same right that Elvis had to play rhythm and blues (the code word at the time for black pop music) or Aretha had to play 'The Weight' or Benny Goodman had to play jazz. Without 'cross-over,' there would be no rock and roll, and if African Americans had not picked up European classical instruments, there would be no jazz. So forget that a white guy named Derrik Jordan plays the mbira; that a white guy named Jared Shapiro plays the dumbek; and that a white guy named Barry Hyman plays the sitar. They are not Ravi Shankar, nor are they Baba Olatunji, nor do they claim to be. They are improvisers who cross-pollinate sounds from diverse cultures into a collage, much like electronica remixers plunder and manipulate existing sounds to create a pastiche of the original that stands on it's own. Natural History incorporates the incantatory sound of it's members' own tradition, rock and roll, in a guitar solo on 'Ah, Mamoun!' that could hold it's own in any of fifteen psychedelic songs. The band also invents incantations that do not lay claim to any tradition, but issue from the musicians' own souls and vocal chords, as on 'Who Do You Think You Are?' The moaning resembles not tribal chants but, if anything, the jumbled garbling of Charles Mingus on 'Passions of a Man.' Amazingly, this track was recorded live (as was all of the music on the disc) on Hyman's radio program 'Talkin' Blues About the News' on WRPI in Troy, New York. It sounds like a tribe of three men creating it's own tribal chant. Bill Baue music director radio free Brattleboro.