Blessings - The Joy of Divine Love
Felix Maria Woschek here completes a circle, because after 15 years of spiritual song he is returning to his earlier days as a rhythm-and-blues musician.
Together with the Indian sarangi and singing master Sultan Khan who used to play with George Harrison and the soul-singer Mira Bai Henderson from Los Angeles, he has created a musical fusion linking three continents.
Mira Bai was already as a child touring the length and breadth of the United States with Mahalia Jackson's legendary Gospel Train, and later sang with Tina Turner. The main influences on her were her family and musical environment, which includes such major musicians as Ray Charles, B.B. King, and Alice Coltrane.
The music deals with the joy of divine love, but also with the pain that we often live this love so little. From Gregorian chant to Baptist Church Gospel, from Indian singing to My Sweet Lord (George Harrison), we make our way lightly through many different cultures and religions.
only happen to those, that are real
come daily to make us feel
with our hearts, not our hands
not for you, but your fellowman
those thoughts that make men free
Blessings of love we all transpire
blessings of good come from high
seek, you must keep
all of that, which is sweet
and remember, remember those blessings
Blessings of time linger
blessings of thruth remember me
trust and understand
life is not in your hands
and remember, remember God's blessings.
Ustad Sultan Khan Sarangi, Vocals
Felix Maria Woschek Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Daf (Frame-Drum), Bass, Flute, Grand Piano
Mira Bai P. Henderson Vocals
Jens Egert Sarod
Frank Steiner Keyboards, Congas
Chris Heiny Drums, Percussion
Peter Krafft Guitar
Bernd Heitzler Bass (Tracks 4 and 10)
Gesine Bänfer Saxophon
Playing time 65 minutes.
A new direction
With "Blessings", Woschek sets off in a new direction. Anyone familiar with his work to date is bound to be surprised by this CD. He is given powerful vocal support from the Gospel singer Mira Bai Henderson. His music comes over as all in all rather more trendy than usual, emphasised particularly by the decision to arrange pieces by the ex-Beatle George Harrison. Harrison did concern himself for a time very much with Indian philosophy and life-styles, and during this phase composed pieces like "My Sweet Lord" or "While my Guitar Gently Weeps". The famous Indian musician Sultan Khan who plays on "Blessings" already performed with George Harrison in those days.
Mira B. Henderson not only supports Felix M. Woschek in the singing, but also contributed the texts of the title piece, "Blessings", and of "Who am I?".
Despite all the new elements in this CD, Woschek has also arranged traditional Hebrew verses and Gregorian liturgy. It is always a matter of concern to him, he says, to combine traditions with one another that bring religions together, and he has definitely succeeded in this aim with "Blessings", where he combines the black Gospel style with Hebrew elements.