The Book and the Flower (International Rain)
Reviewed by David Lynch, Fri., Jan. 12, 2007
The Book & the Flower (International Rain)
If music indeed comes in two varieties, bad and good, then the latter never goes out of style even if it's seven centuries old. Since no one's getting rich perfecting ancient and traditional European music, Mundi plays from the heart. The Austin instrumentalists bassist Mario González, percussionist Ric Furley, cellist Carolyn Hagler, violinist Bruce Colson, and guitarist Darrel Mayers contrast the dusty and staid notions of early music with songs warm and robust. Original opener "Funeral Games" and trad Turkish folk song "Night at the Caravanserai" canter like an Arabian horse downhill, while "Song of the Birds" steams the heart's cockles. Mundi's fourth is more convincing than 2002's As Barley Falls and continues the momentum of 2004's Apple Howling, justifying a recent plug on NPR and last year's tour of Spain.