This CD had me at “hello!” This is a debut recording project for life-long friends Ben Brooks and Peter Day, an accomplished flute-and-guitar duo. Brooks contributes flute and keyboards while Day plays guitar and keyboards. The nine songs on this album include those two instruments with a variety of accompanying instruments and percussion. The offerings are cohesive although they cover a diverse range of musical genres. Much of the music is improvised with spiritual promptings; additional sounds were added during the mixing process. The results are top-notch and well worth exploring.

Track 1: Sacred City blends the flute/guitar sound with bass and lively percussion that includes some funky bongos/congos by Rich Mangicaro, and some background synth provided by jazz artist Rob Mullins. It reminds me of the music from “Johnny Quest,” so got an immediate 10 from my Coven Renegade Vehicle rating system. Gimme more! Track 2: A Song for My Father is a gently-paced poignant ballad (not a cover of the old jazz song by the same name) with a lyrical flute lead. Track 3: Forgiveness moves toward a more ambient sound, while Track 4: Mystic Message features Native-American and Latino influences. The duo return to the ballad form in Track 5: Esquisse with a delicately haunting flute melody supported by luscious xylophone and piano riffs. This was another of my favorite tracks. 

Track 6: Secrets of the Lotus shifts to an up-tempo pace with a space-ambient/world drumming texture. A slick bass line keeps the action moving. The final two tracks “Soaring” and “No Regrets” are both relaxing and contemplative songs.

The contents of the album are about 43 minutes – my only complaint is that this album wasn’t longer! Keep it coming, guys! Listeners will appreciate the soaring melodies with beautifully mixed textures. People who enjoy Carlos Nakai and Peter Kater will probably be pleased with this album. The music is appropriate for fireside rituals and some healing modalities. Highly recommended!

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Brooks and Day
Daybrook Records, 2019
9 tracks, 42:38 min
CD and mp3 both $9.99 on CD Baby.

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