Aloha, y’all. Who is Danny Paradise? A songwriter and musician who has Paul Simon, Sting or Chris Botti playing on his records, a traveller who met more people than Marco Polo, and a human with a heart bigger than Jupiter. Oh, and he‘s one of the world‘s most renowned yoga teachers. Ask Madonna. Eddie Vedder. Graham Nash.
I had the chance to both sing with Danny and to learn the Ashtanga Primary Series from him and I was way more impressed by him as a singer-songwriter as I only made it from Uttanasana to down dog in a week, but was a die-hard fan of his musical instincts after ten minutes.
His debut album „River Of The Soul“ (2000) is a folk-jazz-worldmusic classic that shouldn‘t miss in any collection, with „Mr. Immigration Man“, „House of Bamboo“ and the title track being the fantastic cornerstones.
His album „Travelers, Magicians & Shamans“ (2009) is a harder to find gem that caters more to the new age crowd, but professionally co-produced with Dominic Miller and including a guest appearance by Edie Brickell it still is worthwhile searching for.
Danny took a long breath for another decade and released his new album “Caravan Of Souls” a few days ago on Mesa / Bluemoon Recordings. The new single „Love Will Rescue You“ perfectly displays the instantly recognizable style of the Hawaiian: An uplifting melody, hypnotic singing, clear social messaging, embedded into a network of friends and activities.
The musicians on the recording are top-notch. Among them: Distinctive B3 Hammond by Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Tracy Chapman, Bonnie Raitt), tasteful trumpet by jazz legend Chris Botti (Paul Simon, Sting, James Taylor) and the beautiful female voice comes from Rita Eriksen (Jonas Fjeld, Dolores Keane, Delbert McClinton).
The accompanying video, directed by Brazilian filmmaker Céu D’Ellia, tells the heartbreaking story of the thousands of children suffering from human trafficking each year in Thailand and around the world. „In some parts of this world evil remains,“ Danny reminds us of their reality, asking to support Children Of The Forest, a child protection program providing a safe, stable, supportive and family-like environment where children are encouraged to develop their potential.
The 16 tracks (including an Instrumental) of the album flow like a thousand year old yoga sequence from your speakers, held together by the tasteful and crystal-clear production of several producers, of whom Nadia Deleye stands out, capturing the „Pure Joy Of It“.
On „(Bossa Nova Is) Not A Crime“ Danny shows both his bluesy and humorous side. „Eagle Boy“ will please the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young lover. For the Texas music connoisseur: „Dreamtiger“ is pure Walter Hyatt / Uncle Walt’s Band gold.
But the highlight of the album is „On Her Wings“ – you won‘t hear a more beautiful melody this year, promise!
From now on, Danny’s new album is an indispensable prop whenever you envision the music of the islands that gave us the steel guitar, the ukulele and hula rock. Check it out, really!