07/09/03
Listen to the Storyteller
    by John Cech

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That's Winton Marsalis with the opening from the story, "The Fiddler and the the Dancin' Witch," about a little boy named Simeon who'd rather play his father's magic fiddle than almost anything else, including listening to his father's words of caution -- about how the music Simeon's playing could have a witch knocking at their door. Simeon persists, of course, and a witch does appear, twirling out of a dark cloud right in front of his house. She's come to put Simeon to a test -- if he can play longer than she can dance, he'll get to keep the fiddle. But if he can't, he'll loose the fiddle and something even more precious -- his ears. Thank goodness the violin virtuoso Joshua Bell appears to play Simeon's part on this recording called "Listen to the Storyteller."

Along with Marsalis's musical setting of this Carribean folk tale, the CD also includes a Native American legend, "The Lesson of the Land," with music by Edgar Meyer and narration by the actor, Graham Greene. This story is about three boys who go in search of their spirit brothers. In the process, the boys discover not only these magical guides, but a deep respect for the natural world, which is the ultimate purpose of their journey to manhood.

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Kate Winslet closes this trio of tales with a Celtic legend, set to the music of Patrick Doyle, about how true love and sacrifice can thaw even the coldest jealousy and the meanest spirits. These three, rich tales all celebrate the wonders of music and the powers of the storytellers -- ancient and modern -- to take us on those little vacations that our hearts are always yearning for.

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Copyright 2003 John Cech

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