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World Music CD Reviews Asia & Far East

LAMA GYURME & JEAN-PHILIPPE RYKIEL

By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published September 27, 2005

The Lama’s Chants
Narada/EMI

Although it isn’t immediately obvious from the packaging, The Lama’s Chants is actually a reissue of a classic sacred chant album that came out on Sony Classical in 1994. The album achieved gold status in many countries and this tenth anniversary edition is a remastered version which includes a bonus CD of Tibetan Buddhist chants that were recorded live, a few of which are mantras that showed up on Gyurme/Rykiel’s Roads Of Blessings album that came out on Real World in 2000. Rykiel, a blind French pianist who has worked with several famous African singers, supports the Lama’s deep soothing voice with ethereal arrangements that give a modern yet timeless quality to these Buddhist blessings, which are intended to evoke deep, comforting feelings of liberation and inner peace. Keyboard player Loy Ehrlich joins Gyurme and Rykiel on four of the live tracks. Such chants can obviously be very comforting even as background music, but anyone wishing to use these tracks for deeper contemplation can choose between a track that lasts merely two minutes and one that is nearly 25 minutes long.