Robert Tree Cody &
Rob Wallace, with Will Clipman,
White Buffalo
(Canyon, 1996)

White Buffalo is a CD dedicated to Miracle, the white buffalo calf born in 1996 in Janesville, Wisc., while the artists were working on this recording. The combination of talents on this CD is so impressive! These guys are each fabulous and, when combined, they produce a quality that will rival the very best in the field. This is more than 55 minutes of some of the top Native American music on the market.

The selections are quite varied. The musicians take turns doing solo openings, ranging from a slow flute to wind chimes, rattles, piano or even Marlene Cody singing. The one consistent thing throughout the collection is intensive layering of melodies and sounds to draw you into the composition. You will also hear many interesting rhythm and key changes. As is typical of Robert Tree Cody's flute music, all the special techniques are here: trills, rips, breathe throughs and more.

Tree Cody does the Native American flute, vocals, hand drums and WaveRider. Rob Wallace mans the sound design, sequences and keyboards. Will Clipman handles percussion. Marlene Cody joins on vocals.

Robert Tree Cody is a leading Native American flutist of Dakota-Maricopa heritage. He participates in the artist-in-residence program sponsored by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, a program that places artists in the classrooms to teach students about their craft.

Wallace is a master of the organ and composer of the music for Grandeur: The American Southwest, an interactive art museum on CD-ROM that features Tree Cody's flute music.

The multi-talented Clipman is one of my heroes and role models. He is a poet, maskmaker, storyteller, educator and composer. It seems that his first love in life was a set of drums (at age 3). His love of percussion grew with him through the years and he became a master of the art, specializing in indigenous and worldbeat polyrhythms. He also participates in the Arizona Commission on the Arts artist-in-residence program.

Marlene Cody is the wife of Robert Tree Cody. This is the first time she has joined him on a CD. She has a beautifully musical voice that is soothing to the soul. Hopefully she will be joining her husband on many future CDs.

This is a wonderful collection of contemporary Native American music with hints of Polynesian, Andes and even Irish undertones. The CD ends with Tree Cody talking as a storm dissipates. You have to hear this one!

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 9 August 2003

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