Music Review: The Jungle Sessions

reviewed by John Malkin

THE JUNGLE SESSIONS is the third album in a trilogy from sacred singer/guitarist Miten, following Temple at Midnight (2016) and Devotee (2019). These compassionate songs celebrate the power of love, the sweetness of meditation, and the beauty of nature and feature Miten’s life partner, devotional singer Deva Premal.

Miten and Deva have been on the road touring for 30 years. When the pandemic hit, the two were in Costa Rica. “We never managed to stay anywhere longer than six months,”

Miten told S&H. “When the lockdown fell, we had options. But none of them made as much sense as renting a house in the jungle and hunkering down while the world went bananas. So, we just did what we do; we settled down and sang with each other.”

The natural environment of Central America nourished Miten and Deva and became a collaborator on the album. Miten recalls, “We were surrounded by sounds of the jungle, including howler monkeys and the distant ocean. Being in such a natural environment gave us the chance to be creative. We tried using palm leaves for percussion instruments! It was a precious time.”

Much of The Jungle Sessions has a Motown feel enhanced by Joby Baker’s Hammond B3 organ and his horn and string arrangements. Backing vocals are by Joby’s daughter Lady Phyl and there’s even a delightfully liberating saxophone solo on “Never Give Up on Love.”

“Joby Baker is a dream catcher. He knows exactly what I’m feeling and he turns it into reality,” says Miten. “I really wanted to lift the spirits with this music. It’s an intense time for us all and we were feeling an expansion of the heart down here in the Costa Rican jungle.”

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