John Morgan Newbern first appeared in the mid '60s under the name, Malachi. His first major release, titled "Malachi/Holy Music" was on the M.G.M.-Verve label. John's music has always been considered unique and is said to be one of the early influences in the birth of the New Age genre. However so, John considers his music to be more "ancient age" than "New Age". Either way, these performances are definitely a spiritual fusion of world sounds.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1944 to parents of Swiss and French ancestry, the direction of John's life was to be towards a life in the military. A series of unusual events surrounding a visit to Kukulkan's Pyramid in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico in 1955 would, to his parents disapproval, change that direction forever. The phenomenal presence of the ancient temple of the Maya so touched his life that the next decades would be spent in search of the root of the truth, leading to the creation of the music you find here.
The late poet, Alan Ginsburg once said of John's music: "He listens quietly to himself and then he plays what he hears. Poe would have enjoyed his presence."
In a review of a live performance of "A Prayer for the Dying" during the last years of the Viet Nam War, Playboy Magazine simply wrote: "...eerily stirring."
Noted anthropologist Michael Harner once said of John's music: "He is not imitating, nor only combining different cultural patterns, but is discovering,...those sounds and feelings which have lain dormant under the conditioned 'reality' of Western civilization."