Showing posts with label World Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World Music. Show all posts

3/29/2024

Santana Drum Legend Michael Shrieve To Release New Album “Drums of Compassion” May 24, 2024

Featuring Jack DeJohnette, Zakir Hussain, Airto Moreira, Trey Gunn & others!

Seattle, WA – Legendary drummer Michael Shrieve announces the much-anticipated release of his album, “Drums of Compassion,” set to drop on May 24, 2024 on Trey Gunn’s innovative label, 7D Media. This album is a testament to Shrieve’s artistic journey, encapsulating over fifty years of musical exploration and collaboration with some of the most revered names in the industry.

“Drums of Compassion” is not merely an album; it’s an odyssey that began two decades ago inspired by the Dalai Lama’s call for a Time of Compassion, with a nod to the title of Nigerian Percussionist Babatunde Olatunji’s classic album from 1959, “Drums of Passion”, which is one of the first records to popularize African Music to the Western World. This album is graced with an Introduction Vocal Incantation by Olatunji himself and acts as a bridge between eras, cultures, and sounds, embodying the spirit of unity and the transformative power of music.

The album boasts an ensemble of musical virtuosos, including Jack DeJohnette, Zakir Hussain, Airto Moreira, Trey Gunn and special guest Babatunde Olatunji, among others. Their collective genius creates a tapestry of rhythmic brilliance that transcends conventional music boundaries, offering listeners an immersive sonic experience.

Shrieve’s collaboration with Soundmaster Jeff Greinke lays the foundation of the album with ambient, space-evoking melodies that serve as a backdrop to the dynamic percussive elements. Recorded in the iconic Robert Lang and London Bridge Studios in Seattle, “Drums of Compassion” offers a rich acoustic experience, further enriched by contributions from world-renowned musicians during a serendipitous gathering at the Bumbershoot Festival.

The album’s artwork, crafted by the talented designer Christo Downs and artist Penebranca, mirrors the album’s profound musical narrative, presenting a visual feast that complements the auditory journey.

“Drums of Compassion” is more than an album; it’s an offering from Shrieve to the world. It’s a declaration of the pure intentions of musicians, a prayer for compassion, and an invitation to explore the depth of human connection through the universal language of music.

Available on May 24, 2024, “Drums of Compassion” promises to be a landmark release in Shrieve’s illustrious career and a beacon of hope and unity while inviting listeners to embark on a journey of musical and spiritual discovery.

photo by Steve Korn

Track List:
1. The Call of Michael Olatunji
2. On the Path to the Healing Waters
3. As Above, So Below
4. The Euphoric Pandiero of Airto Moriera
5. The Fierce Energy of Love
6. Oracle
7. The Breath of Human Kindness
8. Zakir Hussain
9. Hejira

Produced by Michael Shrieve and Eric Oz

Recorded by Eric Oz at Glenn Sound, and Ironornj Studio, Robert Lang at Robert Lang Studios, Rik Parashar at London Bridge Studios and Don Gunn at the office. All in Seattle, WA

Mixed by Donn Gunn and Eric Oz
Mastered by Donn Gunn

Album designed by Christo Downs, cover illustration by Bruno Borges

To pre-order: https://7dmedia.com/micheal-shrieve-drums-of-compassion

For more information:
www.michaelshrieve.com
www.instagram.com/michaelshrieve/
https://www.facebook.com/michaelshrieve/
https://7dmedia.com


Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

3/11/2024

Alchemy Records Elevates the Vibe With “Momentarily,” the Highly Anticipated New Album From Guitarist Jon Durant

PORTLAND, OR - Alchemy Records is thrilled to announce the release of “Momentarily,” an ensemble tour de force from celebrated composer guitarist Jon Durant. The album showcases the best of Durant’s unique skill set, an amalgamation of transcultural, jazz-related styles, that gives way to euphoric, universally relatable grooves and soundscapes. A trio recording featuring Durant alongside longtime musical partners Colin Edwin (bass) and Andi Pupato (drums/ percussion), both legends in their own right, this musical jewel showcases rare mastery through individually compelling tracks and comprehensive arcs.

The responsive and fluid interaction of these three collaborators immediately draws listeners in. Created initially as a series of guitar improvisations by Durant, the composer then developed and rearranged the pieces for trio. Grounded musical elements beautifully balance freely improvised aspects, hinting at one of the key ingredients of Durant’s signature, sublime sound. The seamless flow between composition and improvisation leaves the listener in an effortless state of engagement.

Throughout “Momentarily” Durant’s explorative guitar leads the way. His expressive use of fretless guitar on all but one of the tracks “shows he is one of the precious few practitioners on the instrument that elevate it beyond its usual presence as a mere novelty.” (All About Jazz) In addition, his use of guitar synth – in this case playing a modified sample of an Armenian Duduk – adds a breathy counterpoint to his emotionally tinged guitar parts.

Percussionist Andi Pupato (Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, Andreas Vollenwider, Fractal Sextet) shines throughout with his totally unique hybrid kit comprising both hand drums and conventional drum set. This distinctive collection of timbres emotes the open space of European jazz with considerable Middle Eastern elements that the hand drums reveal alongside Durant’s Fretless guitar. Anchoring the whole process is bassist Colin Edwin (O.R.k., Gaudi, Burnt Belief), with whom Durant has worked extensively over the past 12 years. On “Momentarily” he is playing acoustic basses (upright and fretless acoustic) providing a sonorous low end balancing out the whole picture.  His beautifully melodic playing on the opening track “In A Moment” provides especially delightful interaction with Durant and Pupato.

Among the standout tracks on the album is the epic “Rockets on Kyiv.” Originally conceived and recorded on the morning Russia bombed the glass bridge in Kyiv (where Durant, Edwin and Ukrainian singer Inna Kovtun had filmed many scenes in the video for their song “Gannochka”). When Durant steps on the distortion on this one, you can instantly feel the deep emotions he was experiencing that morning. In addition, the one track with fretted guitar (“Bitter Wind”) shows a depth of gratitude towards his Scandinavian musical influences.

Momentarily” will be available on Bandcamp beginning March 29, 2024, and all streaming services on April 16, 2024.

To purchase: https://jondurant.bandcamp.com/

Alchemy Records
188 SE Spokane St, #2 Portland, OR 97202
Contact: jd@alchemyrecords.com

About Jon Durant
Explorative · Expressive · Transcultural · Texture-driven
Guitarist, composer, and producer Jon Durant is one of the world’s most distinguished proponents of creative, transcultural jazz. With his impressive legacy of collaborative work and highly acclaimed, genre-defying albums, Durant is “one of the reigning masters of what might be called ‘infinitely manipulated atmospheric guitar effects’… [He] sets a standard to be defined by… [with] brilliance and vision.” (All Music) Combining a nuanced and emotive fretless playing style with explorative effects, Durant integrates aspects of jazz, ambient music, progressive rock, and ethnically sourced material in lush, multi-textured melodies. His signature “guitar clouds” create compelling textures and moods over which he brings directionality with enticing riffs and solos. Sought out for his uniquely American aesthetic in a predominantly European style, Durant is a go-to collaborator for multi-genre, improvised music. In partnership with renowned bassist Colin Edwin, Durant has formed the duo Burnt Belief, releasing four albums and creating “elegant, sophisticated music of multiple genres… [that] evolves toward the best of many worlds and still sounds like nobody else… a sonic paradise of the uppermost quality.” (Prog Archives) Durant is also a member of the celebrated Fractal Sextet, with guitarist / composer Stephan Thelen, pianist Fabio Anile, Colin Edwin, and drummers Yogev Gabay and Andi Pupato. Of their debut, All About Jazz commented, “Durant’s guitar is a near-perfect stylistic counter…. he is one of the precious few practitioners on the instrument that elevates it beyond its usual presence.” Durant splits his time between Boston and Portland, Oregon, and frequently travels to Europe for musical projects. As the founder and producer of Alchemy Records and with an extensive discography that includes eleven solo albums, Durant has “delivered pristine music year after year… effortless and sure.” (Art Rockin)

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

12/07/2023

From the Heinous to the Sublime, Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer Release New Single “A Journey of Dreams” As a Prelude to Their Upcoming Album

Worldwide release 12/7/23

Chicago, IL – Living thousands of miles apart, United States based, award-winning multi-instrumentalist, Paul Adams, and Australia based, award-winning multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Elizabeth Geyer, have been creating music together from opposite ends of the globe since their debut collaboration, “Imaginings.” Across the oceans and continents, something definitely worked synergistically and continues to work. Their album won the award, “Contemporary Instrumental Album of the Year” at the Zone Music Reporter Awards in 2015.

Following, “Imaginings,” came “Deeper Imaginings” and “Sanctuary,” the New Age Music Guide's “Album of the Year” of 2022. Continuing to unfold the timeless, spiritual sanctuary that has become a trademark of their music, comes a new single from their next album, “A Journey Of Dreams.” The single, the title track from the new forthcoming album, involves Adams’ creative musical talent and his collection of exotic instruments as well as the electric sitar he made in the days when he was a luthier. Their successful journeys have amassed over 132 million streams on Pandora as well as regular programming on SiriusXM Radio.

Blended with Elizabeth Geyer’s sensitive piano and instrumental vocalizations, “A Journey of Dreams,” continues the beautiful and exotic flow of their previous releases. Adams said, “We wanted to focus on beauty, especially as the world seems to be in such deep chaos.” When referring to Geyer’s solo album projects, Bruce Lundvall of Blue Note Records called Elizabeth “A brilliant musician and songwriter.” For “A Journey Of Dreams,” Elizabeth says her intention was to create a place of safety and home. “Imagine a place where you once came from, where you will go back to, and a place you sometimes visit in dreams.”

With its exotic nature and ethnic impressions, Adams describes the piece as offering a bit of artistic and spiritual pragmatism. “It's all right here on ‘circus Earth’ – from the heinous to the sublime. We felt a need to create something that might focus on the deep beauty we are all capable of. We feel as if God, nature, or whatever you wish to call it, is challenging us. ‘She’s’ wondering if we have the interpersonal maturity and cultural skills to work together in this rapidly changing, growing, yet shrinking world.”

Paul Adams: Keys, Dobro, Sitar, Anasazi Flute
Elizabeth Geyer: Piano, Vocalizations

Full length video of A JOURNEY OF DREAMS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BxL-b36zWk

Release date to all digital platforms: 12/7/23

Music Link To All purchase/streaming Sites: https://pauladams.hearnow.com/

For more information:
Official artist website – Paul Adams: www.pauladams.org
Official artist website – Elizabeth Geyer: www.elizabethgeyer.com
Paul Adams -Twitter: https://twitter.com/ppaul3
Paul Adams – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paul.adams.754/
Paul Adams – Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ppaul3/?hl=en

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

8/30/2023

Guitar Legend Juan Carlos Quintero Releases New Album “Desserts”

As with all good meals, the sweets are the most memorable!

It’s no wonder that guitar legend Juan Carlos Quintero’s critically acclaimed chart-topping 2022 release, “Table For Five,” segues so effortlessly to the sequel – the new album, “Desserts”…

Quintero’s new album expands the music menu producing tasty treats while skillfully blending authentic grooves – originating from South American & Caribbean regions – culminating in a thread of meaningful performances honoring the beauty and breadth of Latin-Jazz traditions! Enticing gems include “The Gift,” “All or Nothing At All,” “How Insensitive,” “Tangerine,” “A Night in Tunisia,” “Along Came Betty” & crowd favorite, Van Morrison’s “Moondance”!

Says Juan, “For me, the experience producing this music brought me closer to my parents in so many ways…It’s been 10 years since we lost dad and I think of him daily…looking back, I can remember him playing the piano and working out the hit melodies of the time…little did I know then I would be doing the same years later…the message is check out your parents, remember them and preserve their melodies…”

The album features music from the early 1960s and focuses on traditional Latin rhythms to serve as the foundation for all the arrangements performed. As with the last album, the music features Quintero’s electric jazz guitar along with the backing by his extraordinary band: Eddie Resto (upright bass), Aaron Serfaty (drums), Joey DeLeon (Percussion), Joe Rotondi (piano). The album was recorded and mixed by Talley Sherwood and mastered by Peter Doell.

This seasoned Quintet never disappoints as it navigates an array of well-crafted classics re-imagined with newly fine-tuned arrangements! Led by JCQ’s signature guitar voice, the music transcends protocols merging stylish overtures in company with traditions of romance, charm & melody.

This party is seated and sticking around for more! Now serving desserts… A seamless follow up that converts to a staggered double-album experience prompted by “Table For Five” – It’s the final course topping off a delicious five-star feast! Bon appétit!

Here’s what the press has said about Juan Carlos Quintero:

A comfortable middle ground between authentic Latin roots, and contemporary, polished tones” – Jazz Times

By virtue of imagination as well as style, Quintero clearly out classes many of his modern Latin guitar-strumming contemporaries… Quintero sets high standards with cross-cultural sound… One of the best” – Los Angeles Times

By tracing his heritage back to Colombia, Quintero has forged ahead with personality and style.” – JAZZIZ Magazine

JCQ’s brand of world beat, Latin flavored pop/jazz provides a highly rhythmic, passionate guitar voice that captures the energy and excitement of his live performances” – Latin Style Magazine

To Purchase: https://lnk.to/juancarlosquintero_desserts

For more information: www.juancarlosquintero.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Digital Marketing/Distribution: A-Train Entertainment/Bob Williard/bob@a-train.com

Radio Promotions: New World ‘n’ Jazz/Neal Sapper/neal@newworldnjazz.com

Management: Amy Worthington - Innerknot Management email: amydgm@aol.com

5/16/2023

Guitar Legend Juan Carlos Quintero Signs Management Deal With Amy Worthington of Inner Knot Records

Guitar legend Juan Carlos Quintero has recently signed a management deal with longtime business associate Amy Worthington of Inner Knot Records. “Juan Carlos is that rare musician that not only excels in the performance and writing space, but who also has an innate understanding of business, and in particular, the business of music,” states Amy. “I am excited to build on our 20+ year history and formalize a management role for such a talent. The aim is to combine our music business acumen and to continue expanding his brand footprint while promoting a ramped-up touring schedule. Juan Carlos is born to be on the road-we are keen to working together to ensure he continues his robust release schedule of incredible music and to bring it live to audiences across the globe.”

“It’s a privilege to work with Amy. We have experienced years of collaboration in many areas in music providing a seamless shorthand that complements our partnership in many ways. I’m thrilled she has encased her talents towards a distinguished management position and now representing my interests in all facets of music. I look forward to achieving new milestones resulting from our renewed synergy!” stated JCQ.

Amy Worthington & Juan Carlos Quintero

Owner of Inner Knot Records, Amy Worthington has worked with several heavy hitters for the past 25 years including King Crimson and Robert Fripp, David Sylvian, Juan Carlos Quintero, Bill Bruford, Jacqui Naylor, Tesla and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin). She has handled manufacturing and distribution for all of their catalogues and has overseen North American operations throughout her tenure. She is also purveyor of a powerhouse mail order shop and has created exclusive lines of merch for numerous artists. Amy and Juan Carlos have collaborated on a variety of musical projects the past 20 years, including co-production on albums, booking of shows and festivals. Recent projects have integrated marketing, manufacturing, and distribution services in partnership with Quintero’s record label, Moondo Music LLC.

A 30-year veteran, JCQ has experienced multiple facets in the music industry as a recording artist, label owner, composer/publisher and TV & Film music executive. Producing and composing has been the forefront of a distinguished career while establishing a succession of critically acclaimed chart-topping albums in Latin Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, World Music and Smooth Jazz categories. Recognized as a renowned international jazz artist, JCQ’s signature-led guitar voice veiled over genuine original works serve as pillars of a unique global brand - fusing contemporary jazz stylings alongside authentic rhythms emanating from his native homeland, Colombia SA.

Be on the lookout for Desserts, a new album from Juan Carlos, arriving August 11, 2023 on Moondo Music.

For more information:
juancarlosquintero.com
moondomusic.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, Billy James, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

5/27/2021

Guitarists Jon Durant & Stephan Thelen Team Up For An International Musical Conversation “Crossings”

An intercontinental guitar dialogue

Swiss guitarist Stephan Thelen and his American counterpart Jon Durant have teamed up for an international musical conversation. The pair conceived and executed the album “Crossings” during the Covid lockdowns of 2020. Each working in his own home studio, Thelen on Lake Zürich, Durant on the Willamette River, the pair fell into a remarkable sense of shared purpose as they developed the seven tracks that comprise the album. While the album was entirely done with guitars (and one bass part), there are frequent trips into sonic spheres that bear little resemblance to the traditional sounds of the instrument they share.

Following on from Durant’s work on Thelen’s “Fractal Guitar 2,” the pair began the work as a project for a sampler project that MoonJune Records were to release. Those plans were scrapped but the two had so enjoyed the process that they began to explore more pieces together. Thelen noted: “In April 2020, during the lockdown, I immediately thought of doing a duo with Jon. I decided to revisit the title track from my 2004 solo album, 'Vol de Nuit', which we recorded as a homage to two of our favorite guitarists, Robert Fripp and Terje Rypdal.”

The album contains a series of musical dialogues, often begun with Thelen’s polymetric guitar loops, which allowed Durant a wide range of options for textural and lead work, notably his expressive fretless and colorful electric 12 string playing on the title track, “Crossings.” The sublime “Sunrise” features Durant’s cloud guitar drifting above Thelen’s hypnotic minimalist patterns before the deeply emotional lift of fretless lead towards the end. The darker hued “Dream Sequence” and “Infinity” showcase the two guitarists’ textural soundscaping, with the former offering a nod towards innovative trumpeter/composer Jon Hassell.

Durant commented, “Working with Stephan offers me a chance to explore in ways I wouldn’t necessarily do on my own, and it challenges me to step up my game and let my playing be more extroverted.” Thelen added, “We did a lot of file sharing, and I was very pleased at incredibly good, fast, and reliable working with Jon was.”

“Crossings” will be released June 11, 2021 on Alchemy Records.

For North America:
https://jondurant.bandcamp.com/

For Europe:
https://stephanthelen.bandcamp.com/

About the artists:

Innovative guitarist Jon Durant brings a unique sense of texture and melody to his instrument. His distinctive “cloud guitar” soundscapes and engaging lead work have graced numerous CD recordings and film soundtracks and his very distinctive use of fretless guitar has been widely admired.

Durant has previously released 10 solo albums and three Burnt Belief records (with Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree). Durant has also been featured on the Astarta / Edwin album which was released in 2016. Durant, Colin Edwin and Ukranian singer Inna Kovtun released a CD in 2019 which featured a completely unique and modern take on traditional Ukranian folk music, with a blend of progressive rock, ambient, and pop elements.

Durant’s acclaimed 2018 solo release “Parting Is” was his first ‘solo guitar’ recording and the follow up solo guitar album “Alternate Landscapes” continued to stretch the boundaries of what a guitar record can sound like. Both solo CDs have been nominated for “Best Ambient Album” in US new age radio publications, while “Alternate Landscapes” also spent multiple weeks at the top of the NACC Chill Charts. In 2020, Durant released the well received duo album “Across the Evening” with Estonian guitarist Robert Jürjendal as well as his most recent solo album, “Soul of a River” (Myndstream Records) which featured Jon playing guitars and piano. In addition, Durant released a pair of recordings with keyboardist and Brian Eno collaborator Peter Chilvers, “Always Golden Sands” and “Vista” at the end of 2020 and start of 2021.

Stephan Thelen was born in Santa Rosa, California, where he spent his first ten years. He then moved with his family to Switzerland, where he still lives. After studying mathematics and music at the University of Zürich, he attended several Guitar Craft courses under the direction of King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, closely studied the music of Béla Bartók and Steve Reich, and eventually concentrated on studying  polymetrical music.

As a guitarist and composer, he has worked and recorded with many internationally acclaimed musicians including Bill Laswell, Henry Kaiser, David Torn, Markus Reuter, Eivind Aarset, Hans Koch and Irene Schweizer. He has composed music for many ensembles, most notably the Kronos Quartet, from which he received a commission in 2016 to compose a piece for their “50 for the Future” program: https://www.50ftf.kronosquartet.org/composers/stephan-thelen

He is founder, guitarist and main composer for SONAR, an internationally acclaimed Swiss quartet, that specializes in minimalistic and polymetrical rock music that uses a unique tuning called the tritone tuning. SONAR has recorded five studio albums, the latest two (“Vortex” and “Tranceportation” with David Torn on RareNoiseRecords). He has recently released “World Dialogue,” an album of string quartets on RareNoiseRecords, and “Fractal Guitar 2” on Moonjune Records.

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, Billy James, PH: 1-828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

3/10/2021

World-New Age-Rock Review: Blackmore’s Night-Nature’s Light

Release Date: March 12, 2021

Label: Ear Music

Website

Nature’s Light is Blackmore’s Night 14th album and six years since the release of their last studio album All Our Yesterdays. I can say to those that would ask “Was it worth the wait?” I would say it was. I would also add that this is some of their best work to date. Musically it is mostly what one would expect from the band and lyrically, and with the title, they are coming from a new age and nature premise.

The idea behind the title of the album and what you will find in the tracks will enlighten the spirit. The thoughts of nature being the true queen in all its glory with the changing of the seasons. And all of the natural occurrences around us that should be appreciated every day. For instance, I stepped outside on this rainy day to let our dog out and I was watching a beautiful cardinal chirp and jump from branch to branch, going higher each time, and then over to the next tree. Simple things, but so enjoyable to watch nature at work and all the gifts she presents to us daily. I choose to take it all in with a great appreciation and joy. This is the kind of lyrical content and accompanying music that validates all of those feelings and keeps things in proper perspective. I do not need music to remind me of the wonder and respect I have always had for Mother Nature; however, it certainly is a nice reaffirmation of how important and blessed I am to be alive to enjoy it all.

Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night are an amazing husband and wife team. To open the CD booklet with all of the lyrics and to see the picture of Ritchie looking up at Candace smiling is a wonderful thing. How many pictures has anyone seen with him smiling? He is one serious man and I get that. It was just nice to see that kind of loving interaction between the couple.

“Once Upon December” kicks things off and gets the proceedings started. There is an entertaining mixture of world-rock-new age that unfolds, and it is something that always makes my heart smile and invigorates my spirit. The following track “Four Winds” is full of the color and energy that only Richie and Candice can coax out of their supporting casts and instruments. And it sure sounded like an upbeat choice for a single release, currently they went with the title track, which is just as good.

“Feather In The Wind” comes at you with a much faster pace with high energy, it is what I would call good mood music. My definition of that in this context would be that it makes my feet tap and puts a smile on my face.

There are two fantastic instrumentals on this album as well. “Darker Shade Of Black” features some fiery leads from Richie, which I always appreciated and some non-verbal vocals that are very high and heavenly. The heavenly part does not go along with the title of the track but that is what my ears heard. The other remarkable instrumental “Der Letzte Musketier” (translated The Last Musketeer), features Richie with an atmospheric bluesy electric guitar run which is supported by a rock-solid rhythm section. This was my favorite track from an overall musical perspective without any vocals. It reminded me of some of the leads Richie would play on all of those great Deep Purple albums, which I still treasure after all these years.

Getting back to nature, “The Twisted Oak” reminds us all of “Finding the peace of mind I have left behind.” If you stop and think for a minute how true that is, don’t we all leave behind any peace of mind we may have gained once we are back to the daily grind of work and stress? These are well thought out lyrics with a magnificent blend of music to drive home the answer with a resounding yes! This leaves no doubt in my mind as Candice sings - all in the glory of “Nature’s Light.” So, check out that light that is brought out in everything that surrounds you.

“Wish You Were Here (2021)” is another bluesy track with Richie setting the music afire with some fine six-string work to support the beautiful vocals. “Going To The Faire” is light and airy like a renaissance fair where you can step into a portal of time and let the worries of life melt away for a day. In that timespan you can enjoy the fact that “spring as sprung,” as Candice sings in only the special way that she can delivering the message in a song.

“Second Element” closes out the recording with some beautifully played acoustic guitar and yet another electric guitar run to remind us all that Richie Blackmore is one of the greats and that still has the mojo to deliver when needed.

Nature’s Light is a welcome return for Blackmore’s Night and will surely be enjoyed by fans all over the world. They have over a quarter of a million followers on the Spotify platform alone so far. This is one album you simply cannot miss this year. For a variety of music and uplifting lyrics, this is one of the best of 2021 and will remain a favorite for me throughout the year.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
February 25, 2021

Track List:

01. Once Upon December
02. Four Winds
03. Feather In The Wind
04. Darker Shade Of Black (instrumental)
05. The Twisted Oak
06. Nature's Light
07. Der Letzte Musketier (instrumental)
08. Wish You Were Here (2021)
09. Going To The Faire
10. Second Element


6/30/2020

Guitarists Jon Durant and Robert Jürjendal Release A Vibrant New Musical Collaboration "Across the Evening"


“Across the Evening,” by ambient experimental guitarists Jon Durant and Robert Jürjendal, further extends the ambient/jazz/world crossover music both musicians have traversed throughout their diverse careers. Featuring appearances from Colin Edwin (UK) on bass, Aleksei Saks (Estonia) on trumpet, and Andi Pupato (Switzerland) on percussion, “Across the Evening” is a multi-dimensional, trans continental delight.

With sounds that caress and envelop, rhythms that percolate and inspire, the two guitarists nimbly play off each other and their guests, rarely allowing the listener to imagine that they are hearing guitars.

From the sublime “Reflective Sea” to the deep middle eastern vibe of “Beguiling Eyes,” the album crosses multiple stylistic boundaries. The final two tracks, “Return to Russia” and “Balkan Blue” are live recordings from the ensemble's live performance in Tallin, Estonia in 2019.

Says Jon, “Robert and I had known each others' work for some time - I'm really fond of his group Uma (with Aleksei Saks), and between my collaborations with Tony Levin and Colin Edwin, he'd been following my work as well. But we hadn't connected personally until recently. When the idea of collaborating was floated, we met it with great enthusiasm. We are both very interested in the textural possibilities with guitar but approach it differently, both in terms of tools and techniques. In the end, the two approaches blend wonderfully, and it's often hard to believe that what you’re hearing is guitar. When we began working, we realized that while it's great to be able to work remotely, there was a strong desire to also work together in the same room. I arranged a trip to Tallinn, and Robert organized a concert at Philly Joe's Jazz Club in Tallinn. We were very fortunate to have Aleksei Saks join us on Trumpet, and Inna Kovtun came up from Kiev to sing with us. It was an incredibly inspiring evening, and two tracks on the album are from the recording of that show. The album includes ideas and concepts born out of our few days of rehearsing and improvising together, and flushed out with fantastic performances from Colin Edwin (bass) and Andi Pupato (percussion).”

THE ARTISTS

Jon Durant - Guitars

Jon Durant brings a unique sense of texture and melody to his instrument. His unique “cloud guitar” soundscapes and engaging lead work have graced numerous CD recordings and film soundtracks and his very distinctive use of fretless guitar has been widely admired. He has previously released 9 solo albums and three Burnt Belief records (with Colin Edwin). Durant's acclaimed 2018 solo release “Parting Is” was his first “solo guitar” recording and the follow up solo guitar album “Alternate Landscapes” continue to stretch the boundaries of what a guitar record can sound like. Both solo CDs have been nominated for “Best Ambient Album” in various US new age radio publications, while “Alternate Landscapes” also spent multiple weeks at the top of the NACC Chill Charts.

Robert Jürjendal - Guitars

Robert Jürjendal is an Estonian guitarist and composer who studied classical guitar and composition (Anti Marguste) at Tallinn Georg Ots Music School. In 1992-1997 he participated in Robert Fripp Guitar Craft Courses. He has written music for classical and contemporary guitar, cembalo, mixed ensembles, choirs; documentaries, art exhibitions and theater. His compositions include both traditional and contemporary elements, from folk music to post-rock and ambient-jazz. Robert Jürjendal is working as a freelancer composer / artist / lecturer. He is also the curator of the music program SOOLO at Tallinn Art Hall. Recent albums include “Source Of Joy” (Unsung Records 2013), “Balm Of Light” (iapetus - media 2014) and “Simple Past” (Strangiato Records 2016). “Another World” (with Colin Edwin) (Hard World 2018), “Five Seasons” (Albany Records 2018), With Noya and Godwin, “Samliku” (New Dog Records 2019), with Sandor Szabo “Electric Poetry” (Greydisc 2019).

To purchase:
Bandcamp: https://jondurant.bandcamp.com/album/across-the-evening

Burning Shed: https://burningshed.com/jon-durant_robert-jurjendal_across-the-evening_cd

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Across-Evening-Jon-Durant/dp/B089LYGZKT

Jon Durant's official website: http://www.jondurant.com
Robert Jürjendal's official website: http://robertjyrjendal.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Guitarists Jon Durant and Robert Jürjendal Release A Vibrant New Musical Collaboration "Across the Evening"


“Across the Evening,” by ambient experimental guitarists Jon Durant and Robert Jürjendal, further extends the ambient/jazz/world crossover music both musicians have traversed throughout their diverse careers. Featuring appearances from Colin Edwin (UK) on bass, Aleksei Saks (Estonia) on trumpet, and Andi Pupato (Switzerland) on percussion, “Across the Evening” is a multi-dimensional, trans continental delight.

With sounds that caress and envelop, rhythms that percolate and inspire, the two guitarists nimbly play off each other and their guests, rarely allowing the listener to imagine that they are hearing guitars.

From the sublime “Reflective Sea” to the deep middle eastern vibe of “Beguiling Eyes,” the album crosses multiple stylistic boundaries. The final two tracks, “Return to Russia” and “Balkan Blue” are live recordings from the ensemble's live performance in Tallin, Estonia in 2019.

Says Jon, “Robert and I had known each others' work for some time - I'm really fond of his group Uma (with Aleksei Saks), and between my collaborations with Tony Levin and Colin Edwin, he'd been following my work as well. But we hadn't connected personally until recently. When the idea of collaborating was floated, we met it with great enthusiasm. We are both very interested in the textural possibilities with guitar but approach it differently, both in terms of tools and techniques. In the end, the two approaches blend wonderfully, and it's often hard to believe that what you’re hearing is guitar. When we began working, we realized that while it's great to be able to work remotely, there was a strong desire to also work together in the same room. I arranged a trip to Tallinn, and Robert organized a concert at Philly Joe's Jazz Club in Tallinn. We were very fortunate to have Aleksei Saks join us on Trumpet, and Inna Kovtun came up from Kiev to sing with us. It was an incredibly inspiring evening, and two tracks on the album are from the recording of that show. The album includes ideas and concepts born out of our few days of rehearsing and improvising together, and flushed out with fantastic performances from Colin Edwin (bass) and Andi Pupato (percussion).”

THE ARTISTS

Jon Durant - Guitars

Jon Durant brings a unique sense of texture and melody to his instrument. His unique “cloud guitar” soundscapes and engaging lead work have graced numerous CD recordings and film soundtracks and his very distinctive use of fretless guitar has been widely admired. He has previously released 9 solo albums and three Burnt Belief records (with Colin Edwin). Durant's acclaimed 2018 solo release “Parting Is” was his first “solo guitar” recording and the follow up solo guitar album “Alternate Landscapes” continue to stretch the boundaries of what a guitar record can sound like. Both solo CDs have been nominated for “Best Ambient Album” in various US new age radio publications, while “Alternate Landscapes” also spent multiple weeks at the top of the NACC Chill Charts.

Robert Jürjendal - Guitars

Robert Jürjendal is an Estonian guitarist and composer who studied classical guitar and composition (Anti Marguste) at Tallinn Georg Ots Music School. In 1992-1997 he participated in Robert Fripp Guitar Craft Courses. He has written music for classical and contemporary guitar, cembalo, mixed ensembles, choirs; documentaries, art exhibitions and theater. His compositions include both traditional and contemporary elements, from folk music to post-rock and ambient-jazz. Robert Jürjendal is working as a freelancer composer / artist / lecturer. He is also the curator of the music program SOOLO at Tallinn Art Hall. Recent albums include “Source Of Joy” (Unsung Records 2013), “Balm Of Light” (iapetus - media 2014) and “Simple Past” (Strangiato Records 2016). “Another World” (with Colin Edwin) (Hard World 2018), “Five Seasons” (Albany Records 2018), With Noya and Godwin, “Samliku” (New Dog Records 2019), with Sandor Szabo “Electric Poetry” (Greydisc 2019).

To purchase:
Bandcamp: https://jondurant.bandcamp.com/album/across-the-evening

Burning Shed: https://burningshed.com/jon-durant_robert-jurjendal_across-the-evening_cd

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Across-Evening-Jon-Durant/dp/B089LYGZKT

Jon Durant's official website: http://www.jondurant.com
Robert Jürjendal's official website: http://robertjyrjendal.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

2/03/2019

Progressive Rock Review: Steve Hackett-At The Edge of Light

Steve Hackett Website: http://www.hackettsongs.com/
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Label: Inside Out/Sony


Steve Hackett just released At The Edge of Light on the Inside Out (Sony) label. I was sent the CD/DVD but decided to purchase the LP for additional listening pleasure. I am glad that I did. The album is a two-LP 180-Gram set with a CD included. This is something you get from most of the Inside Out vinyl so you get the best of both worlds and it's worth the price tag.

Hackett is a legendary figure in progressive rock and has a lot of music out there to dive into. With his Genesis days (while brilliant) long behind him, he is always moving forward and creating interesting music for longtime fans and new disciples to consume. I personally have not gone too far into his catalog, although I feel it is time for that to change.

I think Mr. Hackett is extremely underrated because his music has never been mainstream or commercial in any way. That is just fine with his audience in the prog sphere. 

At The Edge of Light is two platters, 3 sides of music, and the fourth side has the etching of the lighting on the cover with the man standing there looking at it with the inscription “Turn and Face Whatever You Fear Most.” Keep that in mind as you listen to the music and read the lyrics found on the inner sleeves of the album jacket (yes food for thought).

Side one opens in grand style with epic sweeping music and some fine vocals offered by Hackett. I have always looked at him as a guitar hero but the man is equally adept with the vox humana. This is a very eclectic group of songs ranging from prog rock, flat out rocking segments, blues, and world. It has it all and very well done I may add.

Side two starts off with “Underground Railroad.” Hackett’s tribute the trials and tribulations of slaves. It starts off bluesy then leads into a spiritual/gospel type sound and feeling then transforms into an all-out rocker. The changing tides of the music in a sense must have fit the all-encompassing emotions a slave had reaching freedom at last through those dangerous passages. “Shadow and Flame,” is one of the more colorful tracks with world music infused into rock featuring the Duduk, which creates a drone, and the very recognizable Sitar. 

Side three opens with “Hungry Years.” The track features some great harmonies and catchy runs that sound radio ready, however, that leads to some strong stinging leads from Hackett and some sturdy bass lines to keep that train rolling down the line. After all of that, it fades out then you move on to the next two tracks, which are significant instrumentals musically and thematically.

“Descent” has the resounding and rhythmic beats of marching soldiers off to war or making the “Descent” into that literal hell. Then all of that driving force folds into the “Conflict,” which is earmarked with a whirling dervish of sounds and more masterful lead guitar by the maestro Hackett. Then the fitting curtain closer “Peace,” after the “Conflict.”

So, you see there is a definite theme here that Hackett is presenting. I think what he is saying through music and words is what we are seeing worldwide. The wars, confusion, and atrocities of man that continue to this day are thought of while reading the lyrics and listening to the music push those words to the forefront of your mind. And perhaps for those tortured souls among us, who are raging their own wars with internal emotions that nobody knows but them. 

But yet we all stand At The Edge of Light, a few steps away from that dark chasm that surrounds us. The true nature of man is at the center of the light and that thought gives us all hope as we listen to the musical prophets of the world. Steve Hackett has created a beautiful album that is diverse musically and lyrically. I do not think fans could have hoped for a better album. This work speaks highly of a man with superlative talents and a message to deliver.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Prog Rock Music Talk
February 3, 2019


Founder of:

Tracks:

 
Side 1:
1. Fallen Walls and Pedestals
2. Beasts In Our Time
3. Under The Eye of the Sun

Side 2:
4. Underground Railroad
5. These Golden Wings
6. Shadow and Flame

Side 3:
7. Hungry Years
8. Descent
9. Conflict
10. Peace

Side 4 :
Etching - “Turn and Face Whatever You Fear Most"  

 

12/23/2018

Track Feature: Joanne Lazzaro and Susan Surftone: Lava Walker - Live at Kulak's Woodshed

Joanne Lazzaro is a renowned flutist and her partner on guitar, Susan Surftone, has made her mark over the years with the six-string. 

Their recently released single is titled "Lava Walker."  The combination of Joanne's amazing mastery of the flute and the acoustic guitar of Susan serves as an excellent marriage of two instruments.

The flute is used in many genres of music however I believe when it comes to world-new age music, it just feels like its right where it is supposed to be.

"Lava Walker" was caught live at Kulak's Woodshed and the video gives you the pleasure of being there. After hearing this track it makes you want more. I hope to hear an entire album along these lines soon!

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannleck




More About Joanne:

Joanne Lazzaro is a classically trained flutist who “accidentally released a New Age solo Native American flute album.” Under The Stars (2015) went on to win multiple awards both in the USA and globally, establishing her as an independent world flutes recording artist. In 2018 she started her own record label JoRazzal Music, releasing a World Premiere recording of Canyon Shadows by renowned classical flutist & composer Katherine Hoover, featuring her trio “Dreamcatcher”. Recognizing her first effort as a Producer,  “Searching – Desert Dawn Mix”  from that album was nominated for a 2018 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best World Recording ...READ MORE...



12/07/2018

Holiday Review: Dan Blanchard-The Spirit of Christmas

Release Date: December 7, 2018
Label: Peaceful Vibes  
Website
Dan Blanchard has created one of the more unique Christmas albums I have ever heard. The Spirit of Christmas is the title, which is about as generic and traditional as you can get but don’t let that simple title fool you. This is a significant music project and a tremendous accomplishment for the artists involved. 

Dan has some incredibly talented people join him on this release and since there is the song “Twelve Days of Christmas,” he gives us 12 tracks to enjoy and guess what the twelfth track is? Everything seems to fall in line so far…just wait.

What Daniel sought to create was a musical holiday adventure that was steeped in traditional Christmas Carols and Indian Classical Music. This, of course, provided the opportunity to combine these elements with some improvisation. The cross-section of instruments included on this recording includes Sitar, Santoor, Harmonium, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Tanpura, Tabla, Percussion, Bansuri Flute, Indian Slide Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, and Violin. Just stop and think about the kind of sounds all of those instruments can make and you will be filled with anticipation before hitting the play button.

This is exactly the type of Holiday album I love to hear actually, rather than the same songs year after year with no expectations of change or any kind of new experience. I do respect these traditional songs and from whence they came, however, I do enjoy an artist that is willing to try something entirely different with enough confidence that it is going to work. When it does work, a listener can become mesmerized and also very appreciative of the worldly experience that is being offered.

The core foundation of Indian Classical music is three components, Drone, Rāga and Tāla. The Drone is the part of the music that is continuous throughout the song, the Rāga is the melody and the Tāla is rhythm. So, what you get are two classic traditional forms of music intersecting for a fantastic combination of sounds, rhythms, textures, and color.  Think of it as big Christmas tree with a multitude of different colored lights, that is what this music is and it’s absolutely beautiful, meditative, spiritual and joyous.

Dan’s love for both traditions is what inspired this album and why it turned out so well. I usually get the “Bah! Humbug!,” feelings when I see all the holiday things coming out the same time just before Halloween, it just feels so artificial and money driven. So along comes musical projects like The Spirit of Christmas to put it all into a proper perspective and allow me to focus on the true meaning of the holiday and the pure beauty and worldliness of the music.

Music, the universal healer, it makes the world a better place and this kind of release make you think about the entire planet, not just your own community in a town or city. This is a worldwide spirit that comes in many different forms, languages, and sounds, it really is a beautiful thing and I am grateful for the reminder of that. Thank you, Dan, for transforming me from the Scrooge into old Saint Nick! This truly is The Spirit of Christmas.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 7, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
02. Ode to Joy (Beethoven’s 9th Symphony – Movement 4)
03. Jingle Bells
O4. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
05. We Three Kings
06. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
O7. Carol of the Strings (Bells)
O8. Silent Night
09. Joy to the World
10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
11. Good King Wenceslas
12. Twelve Days of Christmas

 

8/16/2018

Featured Track: Children of Aleppo-By James Alexander Featuring Úyanga Bold

"Children of Aleppo" was developed for the Original Soundtrack, Alternative, World and New Age genres according the artist James Alexander.

The song is dedicated to those that cannot speak for themselves. It is a message to man from the heavens.

The music is texutred with many colors and a beautiful atmosphere that reaches your soul instantaneously. It is prolific instrumental music meant to have an impact on the listener. Once you understand what the track is about then it really hits home.

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck



More About James Alexander
http://childrenofaleppo.org/

My Music Tells My Story 

James Alexander is an American composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician & poet of Indian origin. He considers A.R Rahman as his musical guru. At an early age, he was deeply influenced by the music of ARR in films like Roja, Bombay, Duet, Rangeela and Taal...READ MORE...

9/08/2017

New Age Review: Deepak Chopra, Kabir Segal, Paul Avgerinos-Home- Where Everyone Is Welcome

Release Date: August 29, 2017
Label: Grand Central Publishing
We face changing times and different movements all over our planet. I do not believe that we have to suffer to get the end result of what we all need. Music is the universal healer and voice of the people. Home- Where Everyone Is Welcome offers many different aspects of a listening experience. You will hear good music with a sincere message.

Deepak Chopra, Kabir Segal, Paul Avgerinos came together to produce music and an accompanying book with poems to give us hope for world peace and equality for all. This is a reminder of who we are, one people, one earth with one future.
 
Home- Where Everyone Is Welcome is the one musical project this year that everyone needs to absorb on every level. Physical, emotional and mental, the three elements that make us the sentient beings that populate our planet - that is the core of what this all means to each individual listener.

The old saying “Home is where I hang my hat” no longer resonates with our populace. Our great country became what it is through the hard work of immigrants and I think it is safe to say that anyone that plants their feet on American soil is because of an immigrant. Today we must be more aware of what goes on around us and we must unite to protect our country’s sovereignty. This can be accomplished in an intelligent and respectable manner. I will leave it at that and any political beliefs out of this because this is about music and poems. There are two specific art forms merging with this project to give us one cause to celebrate.

Everyone deserves a chance for a better life, to live their dreams freely and with the support of their loved ones and country speaking in one voice. I believe this but we must make sure we still have a place where a democratic government is in place to give everyone that opportunity. 

Home is where everyone is welcome, it is more than a word or an idea it is a spiritual place that comforts and allows growth through a special listening experience. Home is where the heart is and some amazing musical experiences that resist being put in box. This is a project that stands alone with significant importance to all human beings that walk the face of this earth. It is all here, great music, words and poems with depth and good cause. This will have impact upon anyone that is willing to experience it.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 8, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
 
01. Home
02. Border
03. Survivor
04. Queen
05. River
06. Whisper  
07. Compass
08. Candle
09. Father
10. Orbit
11. Beyond
12. Infinity