Caravan : Symphony of Stars
It's my great pleasure to tell you about Ann Whittington's first album of original songs, Symphony of Stars. It's a first in many categories, it being her first recorded output, but first and foremost, it is a successful attempt to convey a deep understanding of the life force that drives us to live and love on this planet called Earth. The mood is serene and sensuous, the images in her poetry prophetic if not illustrative of the contemplative depths we reach in moments of reflection. One can imagine her staring out to sea at night with the stars glistening overhead, the moon's reflection on the ocean swells a rhythmic beacon for her vision. Her longtime residence in the seaside community of Santa Cruz contributes to the album's voice and tenor, an aural postcard from the progressive West Coast. The overall feeling that comes to mind listening to the album's music throughout is a sense of joy and discovery. Ann's studies in women's awareness and the psychology of human behavior intertwine to communicate a vision that will touch not only the core of a woman, but to men as well it could serve as a guide. This is not only a very personal expression from Ann, but the result of her collaboration with saxophonist and flutist Phil Smith. His voice is heard expertly dancing in response to her stimuli, and his contributions as a producer and confidant were an important element in this music you will come to cherish. 'Lover's Moon' opens the collection with the flute's soaring tone meeting the ethereal vocal magic that becomes Ann's trademark expression. Ann often writes from a dreamer's perspective, envisioning the possibilities rather than expressing the reality. Shangri-La is not far off as each song presents it's gifts. The title tune takes us to that perfect island vacation spot and 'Night Bird' delves a bit deeper into the psyche of the soul's shadow persona, a location the artist describes as 'a dark but interesting place alive with the dangerous and juicy life force.' 'Just Who We Are' is a dance for day's end and the sharing of life's ups and downs. 'Delphina' is a serious look inside a woman's life, and a beautiful harmonized tango with life's contradictions. 'The Brown Pelican' breaks between two realities, a dream bossa nova and the brown bird's comical rhythmic walk. Ann's watchful eye, whether focused inward or out towards the natural wonders that make the human experience a symphony of sights and sounds, takes stock of her time in life, a place where she shares with the listener a sense of wholeness and connection with the universe, a true 'Symphony of Stars.' Beth Peerless, Monterey Herald/KRML Jazz and Blues Radio.