Re-released by the Spotted Peccary label, Deborah Martin’s 1999 album Deep Roots, Hidden Water is a moving work in a symphonic New Age style touched with Native American overtones. Exhibiting both grace and grandeur, this disc moves from moments of sweeping-vista musical dramatics to stretches of quiet contemplation. Aided by musicians such as Tony Levin, the duo Coyote Oldman, Jon Jenkins and others, Martin realizes a depth and diversity of sound that sets the disc apart. Throughout Deep Roots… there are touches that elicit a strong response for the way they rise above the rest of the sound: the smooth bass line that anchors the title track as it winds along like a stream; the frame drum rhythm that lends its pulse to “Crossing Plateau”; the throaty, earth-ancient voice of Levin’s bowed bass grumbling its way through the gorgeous narrative of “The Strength of Stones.” The soul of the disc really shines in the songs of the flutes here, offerings provided by Coyote Oldman (cedar flutes, medicine whistle and Incan pan pipes), Mark Hunton (Native American flute) and Greg Klamt (Chinese flute). These are the living breath of the piece, soaring sounds that take immediate hold of your soul and set it in flight. All in all, Deep Roots, Hidden Water is beautiful work that shines in this well-deserved remastered version. It’s a reminder of why Deborah Martin has been an ambient/New Age mainstay for almost 20 years.
Available from Spotted Peccary.