Toru loved his country; particularly it's most refined traditions. He always expressed delight with our world's diversity and sadness at the passing of unique cultural traditions from which he believed other people could learn important lessons. Toru was not interested in merging cultures. On the contrary, he wanted every culture to retain its unique characteristics as parables for the enlightenment of all. He wanted peace but valued individuality above uniformity, principle above compromise. He expressed ambivalence about his November Steps; a blend of western orchestra and traditional Japanese instruments that some people saw as a bridge between East and West and a template for a world music.
Trumpeter Don Ellis (1934-1978) led one of the most memorable big bands of all time; actually several of them. During 1965-1975, his orchestras blazed their own unusual path, becoming famous for their utilization of ridiculously complex time signatures (seven/four and nine/four were commonplace for those musicians), a mixture of acoustic and electronic instruments, and a crazy sense of humor. Milcho Leviev's musical career in the United States began when he emigrated from Bulgaria in 1971 to join Don Ellis' band. Leviev found the unusual time signatures to be second nature and he was featured on "Bulgarian Bulge."
Deben Bhattacharya’s film, Echoes from Tibet, was shot in 1979 in Ladakh, (often called ‘Little Tibet’), Darjeeling and Dharamsala. Here many Tibetan exiles and the Dalai Lama (who appears in the film) are based. The music on the accompanying CD was recorded in 1975 and 1979 in the refugee communities of Ladakh, Himalchal Pradesh, Sikkim and Darjeeling, and also in Sarnath, close to Varanasi where the Buddha gave his first sermon.
The Look of Love is Valerie Joyce's much anticipated follow-up to her Chesky debut, featuring elegantly chic original arrangements of the classic pieces in Burt Bacharach & Hal David's catalogue. This super audio CD was recorded in multi-channel surround sound using Chesky's state of the art minimalist miking techniques and the world's finest custom-made electronics to assure the purest, most natural sounding recording available.