Invoking the Muse

On Invoking the Muse, Layne Redmond has set up hymns to the nine muses. The effect can be stunning on tracks like "Moon's Lament" with soprano Ruth Cunningham and bansuri flute player Steve Gorn dipping serpentine melodies out of a bed of womens' choral voices, all propelled by the unerring frame drum rhythms of Redmond and Tommy Brunjes. Besides her original compositions, Redmond reprises Glen Velez's serene, mbira-based "Seven Heaven," which she and Gorn originally recorded with Velez in 1987. When the soprano voices sound like a parody of angelic sighs, Invoking the Muse can get wifty, but Layne Redmond generally locates a serene balance between the ethereal and the groove. --John Diliberto