JAHTA BEATS: CHANTING
WITH TIGERS /CD
BY DJ DREZ
BLACK SWAN SOUNDS
Chanting with Tigers is the most recent
album released by sound ambassador DJ
Drez. As one of the yoga community’s
hardest working artists, Drez offers a
smooth blend of downtempo, heavy hip
hop, and high vibes from India that take
you on a journey bridging the best of
modern beats in the West with the timeless instrumentals of the East.
Keeping with the sangha spirit, the album
is a brilliant collaboration with cameos
from kirtan artists such as Arjun Baba
that also features up-and-coming world
music collective The Kirtaniyas.
The first track stirs the soul with a slow
low blend of harmonium and bass carried
by the celestial voice of Jahnava who offers the opening song to Radha. The tempo picks up through the next few tracks
with deep hip hop backbeats balanced
with jazzy notes.
R&B inspired sounds smooth the journey
back into easy listening midway through
the album, adding impact to the thumping
pulse of the following tracks that incorporate the signature style of The Kirtaniyas:
The closing songs invoke a meditative
mood with mystic musings of a hypnotic hang drum and the viscous vocals of
The Kirtaniyas’ lead singer Vijay. Drez
serves our musical souls once again with
his master-crafted sound creation that is
Chanting with Tigers.
Reviewed by Bernadette Ignacio, a freelance journalist,
travel junkie and yoga student.
BY DAVE STRINGER
Los Angeles-based Dave Stringer is known
for headlining international festivals, for
his exuberant and uplifting live shows,
and for infusing a variety of musical influences and genres into his Kirtan performances. True to form, his most recent
album, Ojas, is powerful, soulful, and
energetic; one can hear the infusion of a
variety of musical styles – classical Indian,
rock, jazz, and gospel, to name a few.
It is clear that Stringer wanted to capture
the live experience of his shows in Ojas.
Effortlessly transporting listeners into attendance at one of his rousing kirtans, it
is as if we are surrounded by the ecstatic
group chant of mantras in a room swaying with devotional passion, joy, and
lifted spirit. Stringer achieved this by
performing with a group of exceptional
musicians, recording vibrant call-and-re-sponse with a choir one hundred strong,
including the likes of featured singers
C.C. White, Suzanne Sterling, Joni Allen,
and Allie Stringer.
The album was collaboratively produced
by Dave Stringer and acclaimed teacher,
healer, spiritual activist, and kirtan artist Saul David Raye. The Sanskrit word
'Ojas' translates to 'life force' or 'vigor,'
and this title perfectly captures the feeling
of this seven-song album. Press play, close
your eyes and be uplifted by the surge...
Reviewed by Joe Kara who leads a double
life of teaching Yoga in Hollywood and the Valley
and working in the music business.
FACEBOOK / TWITTER: JJKARA
PICK YOUR YOGA
BY MEAGAN MCCRARY
NEW WORLD LIBRARY
Here in Los Angeles, we are fortunate
enough to live in a city where yoga studios are as ubiquitous as coffee houses.
Yet to the beginner, navigating the world
of yoga can be daunting. Pick Your Yoga
Practice offers an honest and thorough
look into various styles of yoga to help illuminate the vast practice that falls under
the yoga umbrella.
With the gentle voice of an instructor, LA-based author Meagan McCrary gives an eloquent and succinct overview of the physical and spiritual practice, highlighting the
essence of where the two meet, “Yoga is
the practice of arriving in the present moment full of peace and grace.” She then
dives into seven of yoga styles (
Ashtanga-Vinyasa, Iyengar, Kundalini, Integral, Kri-palu, Bikram, and Jivamukti) explaining
the lineage, foundation, and philosophy
of each, dropping fascinating tidbits along
the way. She concludes the book with a
section titled, “Best of the Rest,” where
she offers a quick but complete look at ten
more styles worth trying.
The book is a great companion to the
yoga curious, complete with a style guide
chart, which explains the approach and
physical experience of each yoga style at
a glance. Yoga teachers to-be will find it
an informative resource to broaden their
understanding. Yet it can also provide a
road map for anyone interested in changing the course of their practice.
Reviewed by Jazmine Aluma, a Los Angeles-based
writer and yoga instructor.
MEDIA [ reviews ]