This one is a curio to be sure. The songwriter Eden Ahbez (born George Alexander Aberle) became something of a mythical figure in vocal jazz circles after supplying Nat King Cole with the song “Nature Boy,” a mercurial song to say the least. He’d passed the music to a manager backstage one night and it would wind up one of Cole’s indelible songs. Soon after the artist was found living under the L in the Hollywood sign and profiled extensively by the media at the time, going on to write songs for Cole, Eatha Kitt, and Sam Cooke. An early adopter of the hippie lifestyle, Ahbez began working in a lush verion of Exotica that was driving towards an opus he’d dubbed Dharmaland. The artist died before a recorded version could be completed, but Subliminal Sounds has worked to get a posthumous version realized. Recorded from Ahbez’ sheet music and featuring original handmade drums and bamboo flutes from his collection, the album was recorded by Swedish band Ìxtahuele featuring original collaborators from Ahbez’ circle and contemporary fans like Kadhja Bonet, Xenia Kriisin, and King Kukulele. Check out the psychedelic video for “Manna” that showcases the vocals of Kadhja Bonet. The album is out June 11th.
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