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04/24/2017
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LP Review: Holy Flute (Shakuhachi Unleashed Vol. I)" by Cornelius Boots

In the not too distant past, my family and I were enjoying the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

While we were sitting in the mezzanine and watching these classically trained musicians playing along with guests and dealing with little skits to keep the children interested, it occurred to me how hard it really is to make music.

It's hard to be able to blow continuously in order to make a saxophone, bassoon, or clarinet continually making noise. Not that I ever put much into it, but it was rather hard for me to do that in the short time I was in band in Middle School.

Those who aren't fans of either can never understand how a metal fan, like myself, can find so much to love in Classical Music. Well, as it turns out, I'm not the anomaly. Cornelius Boots has had a 45 year career in music, playing jazz, hard rock, and classical.

Cornelius Boots
Holy Flute is about the strangest thing I have ever heard in my life.

For the nexus fans of Bill's flute (The eponymous anti-hero of Kill Bill as portrayed by David Carradine), Symphonic anything, and classic metal...

This album is for all 17 of you!

There are basically two EPs of music on this album. Boots is going to get you interested with tales of Heaven and Hell from Behind the Wall of Sleep, but he hopes to hook you with his own compositions.

Side one is all classic metal and one original composition. Side two is the reverse.

Stating off the record with popular songs from Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Danzing, and Lamb of God was an absolutely ingenious move. These are the kinds of songs that will get metalheads to at least sample a track on the YouTubes (or whatever the kids do these days).

The idea of hearing Heaven and Hell played on a bamboo flute, yeah, that was what drew this guy in. I was asking to be proven right. My hypothesis was there was no way in hell that a man and a flute could recreate the bigness of that song. (Heaven and Hell is the title track of my favorite Black Sabbath record.)

Boots was not precisely able to recreate the bigness, but he was able to recreate the song. So, this one track opened my mind far enough to simply listen to the music he's playing. It's unusual and strange to my western ears.

But hear it and discover its secrets. It's a big job, but hard things are the only ones worth doing.

Release: 5/12/17
Genre: Zen Buddhist Meditation
Label: DIY
Formats: CD/Digital
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