6/01/2015

New Age Review: Steven Halpern-Among Friends: 1975-2015-A 40 Year Retrospective

Release Date: May 12, 2015
Label: Inner Peace Music

Steven Halpern is one of the most influential voices in New Age music. This Grammy award nominated artist has had a career spanning more than forty years. His style is comprised of New Age, Jazz, rhythmic world fusion and healing meditation and with each piece, he connects with the listener on an emotive and soul kindling level. The music from this comprehensive album is derived from the following albums: Deep Alpha, Connections, Relaxation Suite, Ancient Echoes, Dawn, Deja-Blues, Afro-Desia and Deep Theta 2.0. All pre-2005 recordings were remastered to match the hi-definition sound of the tracks recorded from 2005 through 2015.

Guest musicians in Among Friends are: Paul Horn, Paul McCandless, Jai Uttal, David Darling, Michael Manring,   Georgia Kelly, Suru Ekeh, Dallas Smith, Marc Van Wageningen, Jorge Alfano, Michael Diamond, David Friesen, Mark Bell, Kat Epple  and George Marsh.

One of the most remarkable things about this artist is his ability to delve into the spiritual nature of the listener and evoke images of calm.  “Shared Secrets” is such a piece and was originally on the Connections album. Golden flute and keyboards combine to give a deeply thoughtful sound experience that takes you into yourself. The essence of tranquility can be heard within the notes of this song. Some days that indeed feels like a secret-to find peace in a hectic world.


“Mello Cello” is a breathless awakening. Electronica, a light ethereal buzz and the seductive sound of string music awakens your senses. This piece is one of my favorites on the album.

“Deja-Blues” is from the album of the same name. Bluesy with flutes, drum beats and vocalizations, this piece wraps around you like smoke. Twisting and turning, it has a flavor of world music about it with a sweet sadness that digs down into the marrow of your being.

“Afro-Desia” is originally from the self-titled album. Evocative with world music beats and a jazzy flair, this piece is full of life. Colorful, it brings to mind the vibrant people from the African Continent. Percussive elements entwine with multi-instrumentation to craft a buoyant tune that floats along the river of life.   

The songs in this retrospective album all come from places in the history of a great composer and performer. Steven Halpern is a founding member of the New Age movement and has paved the way for many artists in his wake. His use of sound for spiritual healing and stress relief is a gift and I highly recommend his work if you need a bit of respite from the outside world.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Shared Secrets, Mello Cello, Deja-Blues, Afro-Desia

Track Listing: 
01. Deep Alpha (pt. 1) 4:49
02. Shared Secrets 5:43
03. Paradigm Shift 7:33
04. Thigh Chi 5:37
05. Mello Cello 6:31
06. Deja-Blues 4:20
07. Afro-Desia 4:07
08. Deep Theta 2.0 (pt.2) 5:02
09. Lifetide 5:18
10. In Another Life 4:31
11. Jonah’s Journey 5:17
12. Apollo’s Lyre 3:52
13. Dawn 4:16
14. Mirage 5:27
15. Deep Peace 5:13


Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
May 19, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

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