Generally when you say that someone's full of hot air, it's considered to be an insult. But on Mario Crispi's new solo album Soffi (literally 'puffs' or "blows' in English) it's a positive boon. Especially when the hot air in question can be heard coursing through wind instruments from all over the world including the ney (Persian, Turkish and Arabian), the selijefloyte from Lapland, the North African zummara, the Sardinian launeddas, the Egyptian arghoul, the Balkan clarinet, the Andean antara and sikus, the Turkish duduk, the Sicilian marranzanu, and the Australian didjeridoo. But this is no dry academic exercise. Crispi, a co-founding member of the group Agricantus, literally breathes life into this project with stunning results.
It is ironic that a CD filled with such ancient instruments would sound so contemporary, or even futuristic. This is music from everywhere for anywhere, the perfect antidote to mass-market induced media fatigue on a cold rainy day. -Eric Iverson
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