Mernie hosts a CD release party at the Glenn Gould Studio Friday (November 29) MERNIE Flowers Of Forgiveness (independent) Rating NNN
You certainly couldn't accuse Mernie of lacking breadth and range. This debut CD by the group led by Maryem and Ernie Tollar includes a Bulgarian wedding song, an Arabic take on a William Blake poem, pop tunes and a track by Ethiopian giant Tlahoun Gessesse. At its best, Flowers Of Forgiveness is relentlessly unclassifiable, driven by light percussion, Ernie Tollar's lithe sax and flute playing and Maryem Tollar's elastic vocals. Less successful are the folk-pop songs like the 10-minute title track, weighed down by well-meaning but clunky lyrics about "righteous indignation" and finding compassion.