4/01/2019

Contemporary Instrumental Review: Christopher James-Grace From Persistence

Release Date: April 5, 2019
Label: Val Gardena Music


I heard The Sad Waltz in 2017 and was very impressed with the talents and musical output of Christopher James. Two years on and my anticipation is mounting to hear the next offering titled Grace From Persistence. 

 
From my perspective, it always helps to know the meaning and messages in the music. It makes my listening experience richer and fuller. Christopher took the title track and gave it some thought. The Native Americans’ belief about the Saguaro cactus came to mind. That album title is a perspective that each of these sacred Saguaros is considered to be a unique individual, surviving on its own despite nature’s extremes. This relates directly to mankind and how resilient we can be as well. It also makes you think about living things like trees and how important they are to our survival.

Christopher set out to continue his explorations into the more complex compositions and that is what he accomplishes on Grace From Persistence. I had to call it contemporary instrumental because of the diverse instruments that accompany the piano of the main artist. I got lost in this music so much that before I realized it, track 7 was playing and it was getting near the end of this musical excursion.

Christopher definitely achieves his own Grace From Persistence by continuing down the path of musical intricacies. Music like this you simply cannot pigeonhole. If the entire album was like “Cul-De-Sac” for instance, then you could classify it as jazz. Which by the way is a big step away from the previous tracks, and it is that kind of change done so well that makes this recording a special and an important contribution in 2019.

I am consistently in awe of musicians that can take one main instrument, like the piano, and build these incredible musical stories. As I always say, music without words presents more of a challenge to convey a mood, atmosphere, ambiance, or message if you will. When I feel the impact of the music strongly like I did with Grace From Persistence it sets the bar higher for the next artist that is attempting to accomplish the same thing with their music. 

All of these thoughts point in a positive direction because we need each other for inspiration and to set goals. Your interpretation of this music will be based on your own life situation and overall feelings and thoughts the moment you listen. I think it’s important to keep one thing in mind, and that is to listen to this music at different points in the day to see what it can do for you. It’s a wonderful listening experience that heals and brings joy. The musicianship is beyond reproach and every track will get and keep your attention.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March  31, 2019

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. Awakening
02. Get on with It
03. Mother Russia (Fantasy Based on a Theme from Scriabin)
04. Where's Frederick?
05. Beyond the Stars  
06. Grace from Persistence
07. Yes and No
08. Weimar Blues (1929)
09. Cul-De-Sac
10. Neitherworld

 

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