I'm looking for a science-fiction book series where there is a universal war between multiple alien species. The bad guys are pink blob-like beings with mental abilities to induce pain. They have this greater purpose to bring all of the Universe onto one path.
The first book has the protagonist checking out Earth to see if they can be allies. They meet a composer on his boat but they don't like the music. There are tall wolf-like aliens and short smart ones, bird-like aliens and ones that are solitary and don't want anyone else around.
I am sorry but that's all I can remember from 20 years ago.