Hummingbird Canyon by Michael Robinson

Azure Miles Records

Declan "Degsy" Lewis review

Hummingbird Canyon is an entirely enchanting work, what with its diverse use of percussion infusing the various (especially woodwinds) parts with a pulsating music of its own, but which also perfectly complements the idiosyncratic melodic and harmonic structures that constitute an album's worth of highly inspirational listening. The charming ingemination of some of the melodies is a welcome reminder of the influence of the raga renascence that surfaced in mid-1960s SoCal and beyond. All in all, this is a very fine, astounding and unique masterpiece, as refulgent in sound to captivate the ear, as the very best exhibit of Japanese flower arranging can delight the eye. Maria Schneider and her Orchestra could glean so much from Hummingbird Canyon, and to borrow a legal term but losing its courtroom connotations: res ipsa loquitur; and, aesthetically speaking, nothing of value or import here has been neglected -- oh, no, no, no, no -- because everything has been cared for so wonderfully well, with rapturous innovation and a vivid imagination.

– Declan "Degsy" Lewis, April 2015, Liverpool, England