THE LOVELY VOICE... a review of Naam Radiance




Megan Chaskey has been teaching yoga classes for years, and often toward the end of the classes she would sing some mantra chants to help everyone cool down and unwind and get into a resting or even meditative state. It went over so well that people in the classes started asking her if she had any recordings. This led her to start recording her series of Naam yoga music (Golden Bowl of Naam, Surrounded by Naam, Light of Naam and Naam Radiance). The latter has just been released and is an exquisite blend of old and new. She has a wonderful voice and sings the traditional words (in Sanskrit) that have been passed down in India for several thousand years. But Megan also contemporizes them by creating her own modern melodies.

Most of the tracks feature cellist David Darling (who got his start with Paul Winter in 1970 and subsequently has recorded with such new age stalwarts as Peter Kater and Ralph Towner). Also all over the Chaskey disc is co-producer Scott Petito on guitar, bass, piano and percussion. Petito, like Darling, is a recording artist himself with countless credits and a long history in the gentle music spectrum. A Celtic harp player from Ireland also makes a couple of appearances. These cats are supplemented by a powerful percussionist, Mike Guglielmo, and a couple of ace backing vocalists.

The end result is excellent new age music with hints of classical (primarily because of the cello), world-fusion (because of the Sanskrit lyrics and some of the percussion) and folk (because of Petito’s acoustic guitar and the vocalists). This is a recording well worth checking out.