Joseph Fire Crow
Legend of the Warrior (Makoche Recording Company, 2003)
There seems to be no shortage of Native American flautists or a shortage of innovative Native American flute recordings. Joseph Fire Crow who hails from the Cheyenne Nation (Montana) falls close to Lakota flautist Kevin Locke (Lakota) in his execution and reverence to Native American tradition.
A barrage of electric guitars (on the titular track) appears on Fire Crow’s latest release, Legend of the Warrior along with other contemporary instruments, but the performer’s Indianness shines through.
One listen to the infectious American Indian rhythms played out on traditional percussion, traditional chants and heart aching flute swirling about and listeners know they are getting the real thing.
Legend of the Warrior features the compositions of a virtuoso musician. Fire Crow either rearranges traditional songs or writes new material inspired by the songs of his ancestors. Each song comes with a brief story that not only explains the origin of the songs, but also allows listeners to become personally acquainted with Joseph Fire Crow. His songs are intimate and even if you are merely putting this CD into your stereo, you might feel that you are sitting around a campfire of long ago, listening to wisdom tales told by Native elders.
The titular track acts as an attention grabber with its power beats and electric guitar solo. This segues nicely into The Forty Nines, a song about snagging a mate through music. Sweet Medicine features emotive flute over light percussion and Where is my Angel? brings in piano
A Far Cry features melancholy flute over a jazzy background, imagining Miles Davis on flute instead of trumpet describes this song. Fire Crow adds various textures to his playing, trills and flutters on Cheyenne Man, (a song about self-image and heritage). The remainder of songs on the CD showcase the musical range of the wooden flute and Fire Crow’s ear for innovative compositions. While an array of Native American flautists exists including Carlos Nakai, Kevin Locke, Mary Youngblood, Burning Sky (just to name a few), you would do well to add Joseph Fire Crow to this collection.
Compliments of Cranky Crow World Music.