Showing posts with label MuzikMan..net. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MuzikMan..net. Show all posts

11/04/2019

Neo-Classical/New Age Review: Sharon Fendrich-Red Sky Prairie

Release Date: August 1, 2019
Label: Independent

Red Sky Prairie is the debut album of Sharon Fendrich. It is a mixture of gorgeous new-age inspired neo-classical instrumentals and influences of the opera that the artist witnessed growing up at live presentations. She has been a student of music since the age of 3. There are not too many people in this world that can say that. The strong influence of family brought Sharon to this point in life to bring listeners her first recording.

Red Sky Prairie carries with it a message of the calm after the storm. The picture you see on the cover is an example of the beauty of transformation and strength of mother nature. And how the nature of our human spirit grows, learns, and rises above the storms of life and comes out the other side stronger and ready to face whatever comes our way. Hopefully, this process is a learning experience for every listener. 

The meaning of this album is just as important as the music, it is one entity reaching out like the branches of a tree growing higher towards the sun. While this is happening, the roots grow deeper and give the tree the anchors in the ground to remain with us for many years. Note the one tree standing in the picture fully intact after the storm. The image provides insight and a clear message to those that are receptive to it.

This is what the entire experience will do, it will continue to grow and establish its roots in your psyche and soul. Most trees and music for that matter will outlive us all and their permanence and importance go beyond words and our understanding. The music can interpret the oneness mankind should feel with the nature that sustains us. Red Sky Prairie serves as a reminder of that one prolific meaning in all our lives. 

The core of the music is the piano. Sharon lays down the foundation with exceptional passion and grace. Her piano gives the other instruments in the mix an opportunity to join in seamlessly. Like the flow of water from a stream to the ocean, it is natural and effortless. The violin, flutes, cello and the voice of Anna Emelyanova in some of the tracks allow for a very cinematic reach. The classical roots remain intact and the new age flavor will give it an ambiance and texture that allows for a crossover appeal to several audiences that would find a deep appreciation for what is being presented in the eleven tracks.

I chose “Within Whispers” to add to my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist for its simplicity and stunning beauty. It was like walking on a cloud in my mind’s eye. The track draws you in immediately and provides that deep breath and subsequent exhale of relief and comfort. This is what music such as this can provide to a listener. That is but one example of many that you will enjoy on Red Sky Prairie.

For a debut, I do not think it could be any better. If this was a veteran artist releasing their second, third, or fourth release, it would be praised as a major accomplishment. I think that says it all.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 2, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. L'dor Vador
02. A Secret's Song
03. Within Whispers
04. Red Sky Prairie
05. Song of the Dove
06. Never Alone
07. Moonswept
08. Bittersweet Memory
09. Last Tears  
10. In Memoriam
11. That September Day

4/20/2019

New Age World Instrumental Review: Jonny Lipford-Migration

Release Date: May 1, 2019
Label: Independent

If you look up Jonny Lipford on Spotify you will see quite a collection of album releases. In fact, I was quite amazed at how much music this man has out there.

On May 1st Migration will be available. Those who appreciate new age and world music with the flute or a genuine combination of both will appreciate the nine tracks for your listening pleasure.

You will hear Native American flute, Mojave flute, Mayan harmony flute, Irish flute, Persian flute, and Bansuri. That is quite an array of flutes giving each track an identity, sound, and texture that distinguishes itself as a standalone artistic achievement. I do not know any other way to put it.

For Jonny, this is a Migration of sights and sounds from track to track. As the birds fly in their patterns it shows nature taking its yearly course. In this instance, this artist follows his instincts and creates something truly beautiful. I really enjoyed the entire album but with the way it ended was what really just swept me away. There is 9:13 minutes of amazing enchantment that awaits a prospective audience. A nice touch is appropriately adding the chirping birds with about 2 minutes to go before it closes out.  Poetry in motion through music, what a wonderful artistic expression.

The purity and earthy tones are what bring me into each track and hold me. I am touched by the sincerity of the recordings and the heart and soul that went into making such an impressive group of tracks. It was like opening a book with an interesting cover then turning each page (or track) and reading another story. That, my music loving friends is a great example of the power of music, tones, vibrations and the honesty of an artist painting and picture we can all step into and make our own. 

For these ears Migration was a journey to complete peace and happiness. Now only if I could hold that feeling 24/7, now wouldn’t that be amazing to reach a level of spiritual attainment like that? This music and other similar recordings could help us all on our way to that level of existence.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 20, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Tracks:
 

01. Fly in Beauty
02. Hunt of the Nighthawk
03. Emerging Vision
04. Migration
05. Masked Ibis
06. At First Light
07. Wisdom in the Wing
08. Poet's Awakening
09. Peace Within

 

3/05/2019

New Age World Review: Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe-There Is A Light That Will Remain

Release Date: March 12, 2019
Label: Prema Shakti Music

This is my introduction to Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe. After a seven-year wait, we have There Is A Light That Will Remain. I am not familiar with the back catalog of this artist but judging from this album, it is likely I would enjoy exploring it. 

This may be one of the few new age albums I have ever heard that rocks. It is very rare but it does happen on occasion. It is not an album for rockers though, the term in this light has an entirely different meaning. Let me say it is unique and nothing like I have ever heard before. When you listen to “Maha Mantra” you will come to understand what I am trying to say.

Larisa Stow has a very powerful voice, one that would be well suited for a rock band actually. But I do not want to misguide all the readers, this is definitely a new age world recording that is very spiritual and uplifting. It is actually what I love about music and a recording in the new age genre. There is an entire list of all the positives I could go through.

There are many tracks that stood out. “Aham Prema” is a highly energetic and colorful track that typifies what you will hear on this album. The track that just lifted me right out my chair was “There Is A Field,” which is the poetry of Rumi. It is like hearing all the best of the new age, world and rock weaved into one track.

I know it is early in the year but There Is A Light That Will Remain is one of the most exciting releases I have heard this year and honestly, do not expect to hear anything like it again. It is that unique and exceptional. A recording like this I would hesitate to put into any category per se, it is like they create their own genre, which is quite impressive.

Fair warning, you will have waves of complete joy and satisfaction while listening to There Is A Light That Will Remain. Not only will the light remain, but the music will also leave an indelible mark upon your soul. I do think that is the intention of the artist, it is about being whole, spiritual and evolving into the being you were meant to be. We all cannot do that without being true to ourselves, pure and spiritual in our hearts. This music is a guiding tool to help you get there or enhance where you are or where you are going. If that makes any sense to those of you on any kind of spiritual journey, then great, I have made my point.

I can imagine there are several tracks that would be a great kick off songs on playlists and radios shows around the world. If you have a beating heart and a soul you will love There Is A Light That Will Remain.

 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 5, 2019

Founder of:
TheFinalonVinyl

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews
 
Tracks:
 
01. Ong Namo Guru Dev
02. Aham Prema
03. Broken Temple
04. There Is A Field
05. Interlude: Longing For Light
06. Adonai
07. Jeanie’s Song (I Am Everything)
08. Maha Mantra
09. Waves Of Yemaya
10. Soliloquy Of R.H.


2/14/2019

Compilation Review: The ET Newsroom Presents: Eklectia - Various Artists

Release Date: November 30, 2018
Label: ETN

When I first heard about Eklectia I was intrigued. Merrell Fankhauser got my attention to this unique set. I have covered a lot of Merrell’s music over the years. I also know his experiences with UFO’s is well documented. My favorite track by Merrell “Calling From A Star” kicks the track selection off. They couldn’t have picked a better track to initiate this vast collection.

There are 37 tracks on this 2 CD set. Amongst those tracks are soundbites, interviews and some of the more interesting music and variety you will hear on one collection. 

The people that have witnessed sightings of a UFO are called “Experiencers.” I am amongst that group as I have seen some very strange things in the sky at night and during the light of day. To think we are the only beings that populate all the galaxies and the entire universe would simply be ignorant and unrealistic. 

Some of the stories sound plausible and some are really out there (no pun intended). But who I am to dismiss anyone’s experiences and their relation to them with their stories? The main focus here is to give you some real people experiences and some interesting music that surrounds those experiences. The two-CD set gets the job done.

I heard some very good music including Merrell’s “Calling From A Star” (which I think is his greatest achievement), “Man of the 80’s” by Greg Fitzgerald, “Song of Light” by Kevin Estrella, and “The Stars Will Lead You” by Dan Vallely.

The music genres range from rock, pop, avant-garde, solo piano, to ambient instrumental. It is one big slice of eclectic musical pie, thus the very appropriate title Eklectia. I found disc two to be quite more enjoyable than the first. The musical selection is very diverse and there are a lot of solid tracks and the favorites I previously mentioned. The first CD had a lot of discussions and much of it was a bit too long and lost me in a very short period of time. The second CD’s dialogues were much shorter and the music followed thereafter and I have to stress again, a good chunk of it is quite good, considering the range of genres are covered.

I think there is a very good chance you would be hard pressed to find another collection like this. For those of you believers out there, you need to hear this, for those of you who are the skeptics, give it a go and rethink what you have been told or how you perceived UFOs.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
February 14, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan.net

Tracks: 
01. Founder of The ET Newsroom - Joanna Summerscales with orb - INTRODUCTION to EKLECTIA - JOANNA SUMMERSCALES 00:50
02. MERRELL FANKHAUSER - CALLING FROM A STAR 04:06
03. MERRELL FANKHAUSER - MERRELL FANKHAUSER SOUNDBITE 01:48
04. DAN BOWSKILL - RAINFALL 03:50
05. GARY WILLIAMS - GARY WILLIAMS SOUNDBITE 01:01  
06. GARY WILLIAMS - BIG WHITE TRIANGLE 03:35
07. GRANT CAMERON - GRANT CAMERON AND JOANNA SUMMERSCALES interview 10:21
08. RAY MOORE - THE SOUL JOURNEY 06:30
09. JOHN MARTIN - JOHN MARTIN SOUNDBITE 01:33
10. John Martin playing for Jimmy Carter - A JASMINE RAIN 03:12
11. DUG DEGNIN - DUG DEGNIN SOUNDBITE 01:31
12. DUG DEGNIN - ANOTHER GOOD THOUGHT 03:35
13. GOEFF CROCKFORD - GEOFF CROCKFORD Biolocation Team Dowsing ET 13:46  
14. KEN PARSONS - OCEANS CALL 07:29  
15. JOANNA SUMMERSCALES - SONG OF HARMONY from the musical 5th Dimension 05:12
16. PETER NELSON - PETER NELSON SOUNDBITE 01:24  
17. PETER NELSON - ALIEN AGENDA 03:49
18.JOANNA SUMMERSCALES reading JOHN MARTIN'S letter - JOHN MARTIN PRESIDENT CARTER LETTER read by Joanna Summerscales 03:00  
19. KEVIN ESTRELLA - KEVIN ESTRELLA SOUNDBITE 02:37  
20. KEVIN ESTRELLA - SONG OF LIGHT 05:44  
21. DAVE MARROW - STRANGE SLEEP 03:06  
22. STEVE BOUCHER - STEVE BOUCHER SOUNDBITE 00:51
23. STEVE BOUCHER - CANDLES ON THE TABLE 04:32
24. GREG FITZGERALD - GREG FITZGERALD SOUNDBITE 00:59
25. GREG FITZGERALD - MAN OF THE 80'S 03:29  
26. DAN VALLELY - DAN VALLELY SOUNDBITE 00:51
27. DAN VALLELY - THE STARS WILL LEAD YOU 02:52
28. DEVARA - DEVARA THUNDERBEAT SOUNDBITE 00:50
29. DEVARA THUNDERBEAT - GALACTIC VOYAGE 04:57
30. NIGEL HUGHES - NIGEL HUGHES BIOLOCATION TEAM Astro dowsing 01:31
31. MATT KING - OLD EARTH 06:23  
32. JOANNA SUMMERSCALES - RHIPOTAMUS FUZZY HEAD BLUES from the musical 5th Dimension 03:50
33. DUG DEGNIN - ON STELLAR 02:59  
34. MIKE ORAM - MIKE ORAM SOUNDBITE 01:39  
35. MIKE ORAM - TRAVELLERS 05:41  
36. CHRIS BLEDSOE - CHRIS BLEDSOE EXPERIENCE 04:21
37. SIMON YOUNG - I'M A BANANA 02:34

1/22/2019

Progressive Rock Review: 3.2-The Rules Have Changed

Release Date: August 10, 2018
Label: FRONTIERS MUSIC SRL

If you remember the album The Power of 3 (1988) then you will find familiarity with The Rules Have Changed. I remember the album but what really left an impression on me was Robert Berry. I interviewed Robert in March of 1999 in conjunction with the ELP Tribute Encores, Legends and Paradox. I still treasure all of those prog tribute CDs Magna Carta released. It was an exciting time with fond memories.

Robert and Keith Emerson were discussing reforming 3 and ideas were formulating. The unfortunate passing of Emerson put everything into a different perspective for Robert, as one would suspect. Indeed, The Rules Have Changed. After Emerson’s death in 2016, he was left with the keyboard legends final musical ideas for the project. Everything from old cassette tapes, keyboard parts written over the phone and long discussions between the two friends about style, the framework of the album were set and ready to be produced. 

I thought providing some of the back stories would be interesting. I also listened to an interview with Robert discussing everything and what I found was more than a multi-talented musician, but an honest and caring man that lost a dear friend. He was speechless when he visited Emerson’s grave. I can understand why.
So, Robert decided to move forward with the project in dedication to Emerson and in the true spirit of the music decided to create the 3.2 version of the band. The end result is a fantastic eight-track album. Robert said he could feel Keith while he was playing. I do not doubt that for a second. As I was listening, I was asking myself “Which part is Keith playing” not realizing the entire story and that Robert actually played all the parts!
The Rules Have Changed is an excellent recording from beginning to end in my humble opinion. It was not hard for me to appreciate it being a big ELP fan and admirer of Keith’s solo works and Robert’s as well. I saw this listening opportunity as a can’t miss experience. And it most certainly proved to be so.

“Powerful Man” is about Keith being a father from a distance with his son. And on the flip side, his son watching his father on stage and becoming inspired by the power of the music he was creating. I thought it was a great choice for a title and the words are inspirational and uplifting and the music is as well. I watched the video (included here) and got chills.

Two of the more interesting and entertaining tracks are “The Letter,” which starts with an acoustic guitar and Robert singing in uncharacteristic gruff tone (think whiskey-soaked blues like) and then the song continues to build and change into what you would come to expect in a Berry song.

“Your Mark on The World” is a track that I am sure Keith would have loved. It is a crazy prog rock track with a circus-like atmosphere. It made me think of one thing. Who can forget (if you were alive at the time) Keith spinning around in the air at ELP’s performance at the first California Jam? Man, that was unbelievable, but then again so was ELP and Mr. Emerson.

After hearing The Rules Have Changed, I felt inspired to write about it as soon as I could. I felt joy, elation, and some sadness while listening. But after all isn’t that what music is all about, people, the human condition. 

Thank you, Robert Berry, for a wonderful tribute to one of the greatest ivory ticklers the world has had the pleasure to enjoy. The beauty of the memories will carry on forever thanks to what he left behind.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 22, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

Tracks:
1. One by One
2. Powerful Man
3. The Rules Have Changed
4. Our Bond
5. What You’re Dreaming Now
6. Somebody’s Watching
7. This Letter
8. Your Mark on The World
 

1/03/2019

Instrumental New Age-Ambient-Electronic Review: Forrest Smithson-The Accomplished View

Release Date: September 22, 2018
Label: Sphere Music

If you look at the overview of artist Forrest Smithson on his Facebook page it says Soundscapes emerging from the integration of experiential intensities.”


“Lyrical and abstract elements converge to bring forth movement and expression of unity awareness.”

The release titled The Accomplished View has a very strong relationship to the music you will hear. The music Forrest provides for the students of meditation and those on a spiritual path, will understand the title of the recording once the music starts playing. And those of you searching for a new path can find it here within the music as well.

The message here is all about becoming your best self from within, beginning with the music, it is a gestation period before the flower blooms. In other words, when your mind, body, and soul merge into one functional entity. The oneness of self-awareness and the life of one guided by music that takes you to that level of existence can be one interpretation if that fits for you. That is for me and what the music means to me, each individual opens their own personal door to enlightenment regardless of the vehicle used to attain it. I believe this very firmly and have learned so much over the years about who I am and what makes me tick. And along with that train of thought, what makes the inner clock tick too fast, slow or backward. That kind of parallel can be like watching pictures go through your mind, it is a diary of your thoughts and emotions merging with the brain to show you it all in living color.

The music of Forrest Smithson is all of that coming together to intersect with your soul, the prime motivator of all you do, think and feel every day. I call it my higher power speaking to me, the gut level answer whether something is right or wrong. We all have the innate sense of that within is us. This music is a combination of new age, ambient and electronic that soothes your being. The peace you receive will allow you to reach The Accomplished View regarding everything I previously discussed.

Once again, I find myself thinking of the great Jean Michel-Jarre or Tangerine Dream. Those two artists are some of my favorites of all time so my relationship to the music Forrest provides is natural and it feels good. It quickly became right for my listening pleasure and to use as a tool that sends me in a positive direction.

I do not think a listener could ask for more from one recording. To those who know and those that seek The Accomplished View, this is your time to listen.

January 3, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
 

01. Calling Forward
02. Given
03. Indigo Source
04. The Lighted Way
05. Deep Blue View   
06. Tranquility Drops
07. Future Origins
08. Positional Grace
09. Luminous Resolve
10. Knowing in Octaves

 

12/21/2018

New Age World Instrumental: Mikuskovics Baum-Timeless

Release Date: December 21, .2018
Label: Independent

Mikuskovics Baum has a new release titled Timeless. It is significant that the date of release is the beginning of the Winter Solstice.

I think it is imperative that I took a snippet of information from the artist website so you can understand a bit more about them and their music.

Bernhard Mikuskovics & Georg Baum present sensitive and intimate but yet passionate and wild early European and Indo-European songs, dances and tunes as well as timeless improvisations in a contemporary outfit using vocals, overtone singing, jodeling, harp, guitar, Jew’s harp, bowed psaltery, ocarina, ethnic flutes & instruments.

That is a fair introduction to these two talented gentlemen. There are seven tracks and none under 6 minutes in length. The first track comes in at a substantial 11:36. The harp is a slice of heaven, the sounds that it makes are mesmerizing and quite appealing. When the other instruments are mixed in, or should I say the plethora of sounds, it creates amazing results. I think it is fair to say that the title of this artistry is appropriate. The music you will enjoy hearing is simply put, Timeless.

Timeless is the perfect blend of ancient traditions and new technologies for sound. Taking worldly instruments and using the recording studio’s wizardry is a marriage that works very well. I have had the pleasure of hearing these types of recordings many times now. The combination of new age and world fits like a glove or your favorite pair of jeans, the ones with the worn-out knees so you see nothing but white thread. Now that is pure comfort.  That is the key element here, feeling comfortable with the music. The sounds of so many wondrous instruments make it an easy transition. It is a magic door to open into musical nirvana. You then begin to envision your own personal heaven with the music.

Admittedly there are some instruments listed in the tracks that I have never heard of. That does not phase me, I just endeavor to learn more about what is being presented. The Sruti Box, for instance, uses bellows to create the drone you will hear and the KouXian is a general Chinese term for any variety of jaw harp. So, you not only hear the traditional Jew’s Harp you get different variations and configurations of that type of instrument. I find all this fascinating. There is so much more inside the music than meets the ears (and inner eye). There are cultures, traditions, and endless information that you can be exposed to, all you need is a little curiosity. When one listens to this recording and does some research, not only does it enlighten you, you become well informed with a new-found appreciation of what went into this music and how it was created.

Timeless is beauty, serenity, earthy tones, colors, the sounds and sights of many different peoples of the world coming together, it is like tapping into a global spiritual vein of gold. This is one of the more unique and interesting albums I have heard all year and a wonderful way to close out 2018 and head into the Holidays and bring in the new year. 

I look forward to 2019 with the anticipation of many more journeys offered by so many talented individuals like Mikuskovics and Baum. This is one recording you cannot miss out on if you enjoy instrumental world music with a variety of instruments. 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 20, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
 1. Timeless Zenith (B. Mikuskovics / G. Baum)
Bernhard Mikuskovics: Parmupill, Mojave Flute, Native American Flute, Sruti Box, Georg
Baum: Harp

2. Intuition Element (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Celtic Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Sound Bowl, Mexican Log Drum,
Overtone Harp, Overtone Singing, KouXian, Sruti Box, Native American Flute

3. Mirror Ideal (G. Baum)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Dvojacka, Quenacho, Fujara, Jew´s Harp

4. Emotion Trance (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Sruti Box, Native American Flute, Khomus,
Horn Pipe, Ocarina

5. Life Land (B. Mikuskovics)
Bernhard Mikuskovics: Sound Bowl, Overtone Singing, Sruti Box, Fujara, Quenacho,
Dvojacka, Georg Baum: Harp

6. Endless Ozean (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Native American Flute.

7. Same Source See (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Khomus, Quenacho, Mojave Flute, Sruti Box,
Parmupil

12/10/2018

Classical-New Age Review: Samer Fanek-Guide Me

Release Date: December 11, 2018
Label: Independent

Samer Fanek is a talented keyboard player. I covered his debut WishfulThinking two years ago. I gave it a 5-star rating and I have no reason to believe things would be different with his new offering Guide Me. This is an instrumental recording filled with classical and contemporary music with a new age feel.

According to the artist, the first track “Grand Opening,” is intended to be exactly what it says it is. The curtain opener is an exciting burst of colors and energy that has you envisioning a scene in an action movie or an emotional still picture with a soundtrack to make it come alive. It is an amazing song but it does not set the tone for the album that most opening tracks do because of the eclectic nature of the overall presentation. “Chasing Time” is similar to the high level of energy and general pace.

What you will discover while listening are different moods, a story being told through the fingers and ivory keys. There is no doubt that this music can move you and it is meant to. The changing tides of sound and textures are a credit to Samer’s characteristic creativity and tastefulness. It can give the astute listener an opportunity to step outside any sort of emotional bubble one may feel trapped in. 

An interesting point is the artist spent the last two years dealing with his own life and through the music found a path to enlightenment…a point of letting go and allowing himself to walk through the door of change and renewal. This is what Samer’s music can do for anyone. The first step is hitting play and letting the music encapsulate your surroundings and then changing your thought process. That is a monumental change for anyone feeling stress, distraught or just sad and lonely. If you have heard anyone say “I can be in a room with 300 people and feel alone,” then that gives you an idea of the level of pain one individual could be feeling.  I think the key is to own whatever it is you are feeling at the moment then be ready to let go and move on with the help of the music.

Guide Me is an extraordinary musical achievement that will give listeners the occasion to feel what the artist is feeling and what part they may be playing in the story. Sometimes, for me, it feels like I take on my own part in the story and get this flood of feelings and emotions listening to this music, and then any isolation I may be feeling just slips away. On the positive side of the coin, there is a necessary solitude that I enjoy. It recharges my inner batteries and gives my soul a shot of light and hopefulness. It may sound complicated to some folks but it certainly works for my listening experience.

As the music guided Samer it will guide you to another space and time with a mindset that can give you a healing internally that you will come to expect from this music. I had set the bar very high for Samer on his sophomore release and he came through with another instrumental masterpiece.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 10, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 

01. Grand Opening
02. Long Time Ago
03. Newborn
04. Now You See
05. Guide Me
06. Guardian
07. Before Dawn
08. Chasing Time
09. For Lila
10. Sense of Purpose
11. Back to Hometown

 



12/01/2018

Rock Review: Jason Becker-Triumphant Hearts

Release Date: December 7, 2018
Label: Music Theory Recordings
Jason Becker suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). A fatal condition with a life expectancy of maybe five years. He was diagnosed in 1989 at 19 years old. He is still cranking out music to this day!
He was and still is a six-string slinger with plenty of energy to create music, his personal testament to the power of music and positive thinking. He never stopped working. I think that is the reason he is still with us today, he never gave up and feels empowered to make music on a very high level regardless of physical limitations.

The man also has a great sense of humor, he released a documentary on his life in 2017 titled I’m Not Dead Yet. In the video I have provided, which runs over 9 minutes, gives a good overview of how people in the music business feel about Becker. Everyone is filled with respect and admiration for this man and for good reason. I actually interviewed Jason in 2001 in regards to the tribute album Warmth In The Wilderness II on Lion Records. At that time, I had asked what he would like to do next and he said “I haven't thought about it lately, but it would either be a symphony or funky and possibly devotional stuff. Whatever there would be lots of guitar on it.” So here we are in 2018 and we are on the heels of the new release Triumphant Hearts. It looks as though those thoughts and expectations have been realized with the new release. It is pretty cool that I go that far back with Jason and I had the opportunity to interview him.

So, guitar fans get ready for one amazing onslaught of guitar magic on Triumphant Hearts. The first song to be released from the album is the 9 minute and 5 second instrumental “Valley of Fire” (check out the video provided). The song features The Magnificent 13 – Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, Paul Gilbert, Neal Schon, Marty Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, Mattias IA Eklundh, Greg Howe, Jeff Loomis, Richie Kotzen, Gus G, Steve Hunter, and Ben Woods. That is one phenomenal line up to put together on one track! It works very well for having that many guitar players contribute. Actually, I am surprised it did not go any longer than 9 minutes and 5 seconds and I am sure it could have with all that talent available.

There is a lot of orchestrations in the tracks which makes the listening experience rich and full. Jason composed all the music and he gets his work done by controlling a computer with his eyes. The technology that is available today is truly amazing and because of that we still have the opportunity to hear this amazing artist and his creations.

For all of the rockers out there, be patient when popping the CD in because the first track may give you the wrong idea of what you are about to hear. It is classical music but just wait, things really getting rolling after that. The mix of instrumentals, mainly guitar parts, and tracks with vocals, is just what the doctor ordered for my music tastes. There is a boatload of ear candy on the longer tracks like the aforementioned “Valley of Fire” and “River of Longing” and “Taking Me Back.” There actually is only one track under 4 minutes on the entire album, the curtain closer “You Do It,” which last 55 seconds. 

If you are in the mood for some six-string fireworks and want to hear some of the best guitar players in the world on one release, then Triumphant Hearts is your one-way ticket to musical bliss. Hell, you may be so inspired after hearing this music that you will pick up your own guitar and start playing, and if you don’t have one, go out and buy one!

Jason Becker is an incredible human being with a very talented musical mind. Triumphant Hearts is an amazing event that every music fan needs to hear. The man and his music will make an impression on you one way or another, I can promise you that.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 30, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews & News

Tracks:
01. Triumphant Heart (feat. Marty Friedman, Glauco Bertagnin, Hiyori Okuda)
02. Hold On To Love (feat. Codany Holiday) 07:27
03. Fantasy Weaver (feat. Jake Shimabukuro)
04. Once Upon A Melody  
05. We Are One (feat. Steve Knight)  
06. Magic Woman (feat. Uli Jon Roth & Chris Broderick)
07. Blowin' in the Wind  
08. River of Longing (feat. Joe Satriani, Aleks Sever, Guthrie Govan, Steve Morse)
09. Valley of Fire (feat. Michael Lee Firkins, Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, Paul Gilbert, Neal Schon, Mattias IA Eklundh, Marty Friedman, Greg Howe, Jeff Loomis, Richie Kotzen, Gus G., Steve Hunter, Ben Woods)
10. River of Longing (feat. Trevor Rabin)
11. Taking Me Back
12. Tell Me No Lies
13. Hold On To Love (feat. Codany Holiday) [Chuck Zwicky Remix]  
14. You Do It
   



Ads Inside Post