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REVIEWS and ENDORSEMENTS

 REVIEW 
Joe Yeatman’s CD, Standing Free, is an exceptional and thought-provoking gathering of songs featuring Native American flutes, Native American-style flutes, and rim-blown flutes of the American Southwest. Joe made several of the flutes heard on this recording. His rim-blown flutes are particularly haunting in character, with a deliciously warm, velvety timbre. Other flutes that Joe played on Standing Free include those made by Ken Green of White Owl Products; Hawk Littlejohn; Hawk Henries; Jim Gilliland; Colyn Petersen; and Odell Borg of High Spirit Flutes.

Throughout Standing Free, Joe’s contemplative flute expressions are tender, rich, and sensitive. His flute melodies create a synergy with the acoustical accompaniments, whether they are nature sounds like rain, thunder, and streams; wind; wolf howls; hand drums; the tanpura; wind chimes; bird calls; synthesizer; or flute countermelodies in the background.

Joe’s elegant, gentle vibrato enhances the color of each flute’s sound, creating a peaceful and soothing ambiance. With each flute throughout this recording, he develops expansive melodies with easy, gentle contours that breath life into the shadowy atmospheres of the heart and soul. Joe’s use of flute embellishments is artful, yet unobtrusive. Here, the flute explorations are never cluttered with unnecessary embellishments. Instead, Joe lets the melodies stand on their own, allowing each the freedom to be expressive and graceful. While Standing Free is calming and tranquil in overall character, each song has its own identity and temperament. Each song has its own message to convey.

 

One of the interesting features of this CD is the inclusion of liner notes. Over the years, liner notes have fallen out of vogue. They used to be a requirement on most CDs, depending on the intent of the project. It is nice to see descriptive liner notes on Standing Free. One of the most touching sections in the liner notes is when Joe dedicates the song “White Owl” to the late Ken Green of White Owl Products. Ken was a fine flute maker, and an extraordinary human being. He is greatly missed. This song is a superb homage to Ken’s memory.

 

Standing Free is truly a breathtaking collection of songs, which is masterfully arranged to bring about the ultimate in creativity and expressive musical warmth. The music is gentle, mild, and mellow. The melodies are well-crafted and poignant. There is nothing musically jarring about this recording. It creates a euphonic ambiance that allows the listener to unwind and breathe easy. Kudos, Joe!   Dr. Kathleen Joyce-Grendahl. Executive Director World Flute Society 

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 REVIEW 

I would first like to personally thank Joe for keeping the flute music alive in times today that have seen a decline in the genre due to many things.

Joe has taken the time with various flutes to record a very good overall recording, showcasing his talent and respect for the flute in a solo format. The various tracks in this solo format are an example to best hear the overtones the instrument is known for. His playing is very clean, and reflects the overall mood of where he lives - in the Tucson desert. Joe surprised me by leaving space and tying long-tone phrases together, which are well thought; something which is rare and seldom heard in players today.

I am drawn to Sisseton Wind, which may be a tribute to the great Dakota flutist Bryan Akipa. Also a nice effort on Mallard’s Lullaby. Again, good choice of phrasing by Joe here.

All the tracks are well thought out, with a consistent sound Joe can call his own. It is very hard to sound melodic on this instrument if you are not playing from a foundation of traditional vocal old love songs passed down by tribal families  - You become a scale runner. Joe has not tried to play traditional old songs. Instead he did a recording following his own heart as he journeys through the phrases on each track. Truly a recording he can be proud of. Bravo to you Joe. Keep the music going.   Gary Stroutsos. International Recording Artist 

 ENDORSEMENT 
Joe Yeatman is an immensely gifted flutist.

I am not ashamed to admit his beautiful tender flute playing has brought me to tears. Joe is not just a performer but an artist who plays from his heart.

Also since he crafts flutes from yuccas he salvages from the desert … these instruments are imbued with his spirit. Joe’s loving attention to detail & this connection between the man & his hand crafted instrument puts his playing on a deeper level.

So…..sit back… put your feet up … play the songs in his album(s) & be prepared to be teleported into your inner world that opens up one’s deep joys as well as one’s even deeper sorrows. In my experience I have found the tears shed has not only brought a peace but healing as well.

I believe when an artist puts their heart on the line whether it’s music, art, literature something magical occurs; the connectivity between us all becomes more apparent & deepens the connection we sometimes lose in the occasional storms we all experience.    Sarah Masse, Professor Emeritus of Art, Northern Essex Community College Haverhill MA  &  Member Artist at Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery & Workshop 

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