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

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

 

11/15/2016

Instrumental Jazz/World Review: Pablo Embon-Funky Side of The Road

Release Date: December 19, 2016
Label: Independent

The last album I heard from Pablo Embon was The World Within back in March. It rapidly became the most read review and remains at #1 on my Write A Music Review site. So, at this point my expectations are already set, I expect more of same…great music, quality sound and a good mixture of genres. So now we have the arrival of Funky Side of The Road coming out in December. It lived up to my expectations in every way possible.

Some of the tracks serve as a good jam session and others have more middle of the road run times. The mixture of jazz, rock and world is very enticing to a listener seeking a variety of sounds or all of them combined. Pablo keeps it fresh and moving from start to finish on this recording.
There is a lot to take in amongst the 12 instrumental tracks on Funky Side of The Road. The operative phrase that is best suited to encapsulate this project is “variety is the spice of life.” Pablo puts ample amounts of spice in his music to give it a life all its own.

“Midnight Blues” reminded of me of a favorite album from the Al Di Meola Project titled Soaring Through A Dream. That was also the year I saw him in San Francisco playing cuts from that album. The track is atmospheric and landing right in the middle of jazz and blues. They are in the same family traveling the same road but take different exits if you will. There is nothing more powerful in a listening experience than validation and familiarity with other favorite artists. It is like being in the here and now and looking back to the past all at the same time.

The tastefully done “Misfortune” has a late night smoky club vibe to it. Delicate and pronounced keyboards make their entrance and pull you away into dreamland. Not quite the funky side until the next track starts. 

The playful and provocative “Naughty Lucy” sounds a little Steely Dan goes to the carnival and never gets off the ride. Or better yet, you the listener has a free pass to stay on and you decide to get off (when the track ends!). The carefree playful mood of the track puts a smile in your heart and gets your feet tapping or doing an outright dance on floor, whatever comes first, it works on you and gets you up and out of your seat.

“Our Last Dance” seems like it would be a fitting way to close out the album because of the track name alone. However, this is not the case here, Pablo keeps you guessing and more importantly entertained throughout the run of this album. This one is more of a traditional jazz number that is as smooth and pristine as a shiny new car on the showroom floor. It hollers out to you and invites you to sit down and take a test drive.

Funky Side of The Road is indie music at its very best. A multitude of talent is presented and you get a front row seat to some tastefully done tracks, some have a slower pleasing pace while others grab you and take you for jog around the block and keep you energized. When all is said and done you just heard a very solid and entertaining album full of instrumental jazz and world music.
I took more than a test drive I was there at the starting gate and went to the finish line listening to a fine group of tracks presented by one multi-talented artist.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Midnight Blues, Naughty Lucy, Our Last Dance

Tracks: 
01. Is that You?
02. Golden Peak
03. 2222
O4. Wedding Day
O5. Green Lizard
O6. Our Last Dance
07. The Time Has Come
08. Naughty Lucy
09. Misfortune
10. One Day Left
11. Midnight Blues
12. Fools Game (Unplugged)
 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 15, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

9/16/2016

Barney Rattle Releases Eclectic Compilation Album African Storybook Of Songs


African Storybook of Songs is the work of celebrated London producer Barney Rattle, compiling two decades of genre-spanning music into one iconic music collection covered in these six albums.

The compilation includes collaborations with a diverse range of artists including the likes of South African singer-songwriter and guitarist Lennox Tom, jazz pianist and composer Don Laka and marimba and brass afrojazz ensemble Abavuki.

Covering material from the nineties to the current day, the album takes the listener on a sonic adventure sporting elements of electronica, jazz, reggae and funk, all infused with Barney Rattle’s distinct afropop stylings.

Barney Rattle’s career has been one of many exciting twists and turns. At the turn of the millennium, his music could be found being blasted in nightclubs around Ibiza. More recently he has been working with Don Laka who infused afropop (aka KwaaiJazz) with the classical works of Chopin, his album Afro Chopin receiving acclaim from critics.

The producer has recently been working on a number of film and TV projects about the great music and history of South Africa.

African Storybook of Songs is out November 4th


Links:




Tidal: http://tidal.com/album/64260733

Stream the album on Soundcloud here: 

Barney Rattle Releases Eclectic Compilation Album African Storybook Of Songs


African Storybook of Songs is the work of celebrated London producer Barney Rattle, compiling two decades of genre-spanning music into one iconic music collection covered in these six albums.

The compilation includes collaborations with a diverse range of artists including the likes of South African singer-songwriter and guitarist Lennox Tom, jazz pianist and composer Don Laka and marimba and brass afrojazz ensemble Abavuki.

Covering material from the nineties to the current day, the album takes the listener on a sonic adventure sporting elements of electronica, jazz, reggae and funk, all infused with Barney Rattle’s distinct afropop stylings.

Barney Rattle’s career has been one of many exciting twists and turns. At the turn of the millennium, his music could be found being blasted in nightclubs around Ibiza. More recently he has been working with Don Laka who infused afropop (aka KwaaiJazz) with the classical works of Chopin, his album Afro Chopin receiving acclaim from critics.

The producer has recently been working on a number of film and TV projects about the great music and history of South Africa.

African Storybook of Songs is out November 4th


Links:




Tidal: http://tidal.com/album/64260733

Stream the album on Soundcloud here: 

9/02/2016

Guitarist & Composer Marcus Corbett To Release New Album “Every Little Spirit” October 2016


“Perfect Sunday morning music”

London, UK – Much to the anticipation of music aficionados worldwide, music artist Marcus Corbett will be releasing his new album “Every Little Spirit” in October 2016! Marcus is an acoustic guitarist, singer and composer based between Marlborough, UK and Pune, Maharashtra, India. Gradually, during repeated expeditions in India over the last decade or more, having immersed himself in the fundaments of North Indian classical music Marcus has begun to reap the rewards of his involvement in the musical life of Pune, Maharashtra and Gadag in North Karnataka.

The result is a generous spirited cultural collaboration that allows his music to come to life while paying homage to the tradition he loves. Here there is ambition as two violins are at work, and as he says, “One violin may be a line drawing but two become cinema – and with the risk associated with such potential drama no one performance is the same as the last. The beautiful challenge in this search is to keep the individual cultural charm, to make the bell ring true. And to maintain the power and integrity of the music.”

“With his deep affinity with Indian classical music and his expertise in soulfully conveying its essence on the humble acoustic guitar. …where other guitar maestros have dipped their toes…. he's taken the integration a stage further and his collaboration with tabla virtuosos Nitin Gaikwad and Sharanappa Guttaragi on this disc is both fiery and rewarding.” - Fatea

On the subject of his musical influences, aside from his times in India, Marcus states, “I've been affected by John Martyn, Nick Drake, Roy Harper - anybody that makes the guitar sing or speak. John McLaughlin with the early Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti was a revelation as has been Jerry Garcia's soulful musicality. Recently Frank Yamma has got under my skin”.

Acclaimed producer and composer Sam Williams (Supergrass/The Go Team!) has co-produced the first track on the album, “Strung Deep” – a remix of Castanets from Marcus' previous EP release of the same name. Marcus explains how this unlikely-seeming collaboration came about:

“While mixing 'Castanets' for the last record (Strung Deep) I discovered a heartbeat in the rhythmic cycle that expressed something quintessential and more about the track. It has a breezy optimism that continues from where the album 'Strung Deep' left off. I needed a different approach, someone outside of the Indian classical world who could the sense the potential and produce it. A chance meeting with Sam Williams during which I heard some of his recent work was the catalyst to our working together. Sam has created a great rhythm led track to fit the varying time signatures and give the looping swirl a kick. He also found some words to go with the emerging vibe while keeping some essential ingredients of the original. It is a remix which contemporizes the song in a way which keeps the flavour of the original and casts new light on what I do”.

Recorded with Abhijit Saraf at Musical Stars Studio in Pune, Maharashtra; and in Gadag, Karnataka and in Oxford (UK), Corbett is accompanied for “Every Little Spirit” by tabla players Nitin Gaikwad and Sharanappa Guttaragi. The seductive vocal of renowned classical singer Saylee Talwalkar takes us into his world. The storyline unfolds amidst the masterful weave of bansuri flute player Milind Date, and is carried further by the cinematic violins of Anjali Singde-Rao, Sanjay Upadhye and Sachin Ingale with a cameo appearance by celebrated Oxford-based virtuoso Bruno Guastalla on cello.

Comprised of eight tracks spread across 59 minutes, “Every Little Spirit” is lyrically themed and is a reflection upon how our roots entwine with all life; how our joy and sorrow is shared; that while life is a gift, for which acknowledgment and thanks are due, no one said the living of it was easy and how we instinctively seek release, to “get set free” from the emotional and physical turmoil of existence. “This could be you, this could be me….”.

“Perfect Sunday morning music... I really enjoyed listening through it - it is a very well paced and interesting listen” - Nigel House at Rough Trade

Having toured successfully in Germany and Holland, played around the UK, and gained press attention from all over the world for his previous releases, Marcus' reputation for his skillful combining of the worlds of Indian Classical and British folk music, while being ambitious and yet aware of the limitations, will inevitably continue to grow and grow, and his status as one of the great explorers of these musical borderlands will continue to be celebrated.

To purchase Marcus Corbett's “Every Little Spirit”: www.cdbaby.com/marcuscorbett

For more information:
www.marcuscorbett.com
www.facebook.com/marcus.corbett.music
@marcuscorbettji

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

UK representation: Seb at Pindrop Publicity seb@pindroppublicity.com / 07932635856 / 01865420376

6/10/2016

The 'Young Lioness Of Africa' With Self-Titled Roaring Album




Whilst predominantly being sung in Sissala, regardless of whether you can understand it, the lyrical delivery through melody, rhythm and her outstanding performance on the album supports the claims that music continues on where words leave off.
The song "Peace" features driving and motivating bass and drum parts forming a western style representation of her fierce character and role in her nation.

With such a strong debut album and her fantastic activities outside of music, particularly in Ghana, she is set to blow up in the music industry.


Links:

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