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Showing posts from April, 2018

Instrumental Piano Review: Peter Calandra-Piano Improvisations Vol. 1

Release Date: April 27, 2018 Label: PCM Website
Peter Calandra has new digital-only release titled Piano Improvisations Vol.1. This will be his first release in 2018 with another one forthcoming later in the year.
Peter is well known for his solo piano works and I have become very familiar with his recorded output as well.I had the pleasure of covering First Light, The Road Home and Inner Circle. He is also known for his soundtrack work.
Piano Improvisations Vol. 1 is comprised of fourteen instrumental piano tracks. Peter is a very ambitious recording artist and because of that creative energy, he is able to keep a constant flow of music on the market. I find that kind of consistency is refreshing. I have a lot of respect for musicians that are constantly busy with one project or another. I can understand why many are like that. To keep those creative juices flowing you need to be actively using the talents or things will get stale and then you would feel a disconnect with your process.…

The Neal Morse Band To Release "The Similitude Of A Dream" Live in Tilburg, Netherlands 2017 2CD/2DVD Set

The Neal Morse Band's triumphant double-album, “The Similitude Of A Dream,” is the most acclaimed release that Morse has helmed to date. The 2017 “Road Called Home” tour was their most extensive yet, including new continents for the band. At the 013 in Tilburg, Holland, the stars aligned for the most commanding performance of the run, captured for live release in stunning quality. Now the Neal Morse Band is releasing on June 15th “The Similitude Of A Dream” Live in Tilburg, Netherlands 2017 2CD/2DVD Set.

“An epic night on an epic tour” proclaims Neal. Released from Radiant/SONY/Metal Blade, it will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD/CD. Join Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Eric Gillette, Bill Hubauer, and Randy George for over two hours of musical magic, as they play the album in its entirety, as well as a four song encore that will leave you breathless!

“This is the Neal Morse Band playing arguably our greatest album to date at one of the greatest venues we have ever played for one of the…

Rock-Pop Review: Bird Mancini-Dreams and Illusions

Release Date: May 1, 2018 Label: Bonk Zone Music Website
It has been several years since I had the opportunity to provide some coverage of the Boston band Bird Mancini. I remember one thing, I loved their music! I can say right out of the gate, that opinion has not changed.

On May 1, 2018, they will release Dreams and Illusions, their eighth proper studio recording. Billy Carl Mancini and Ruby Bird are the two main cogs in the wheels that drive this band. 

The one thing I know I will hear on a Bird Mancini album is quality musicianship, excellent production, and tracks I know I want to hear again!

The influence of The Beatles is obvious in their music. As far as I am concerned that is a good thing and think most listeners would feel that way. So, what does a potential listener get with Dreams and Illusions?

Primarily what you will hear is a tight and well-polished band doing what they do best, crafting memorable rock-pop songs. The rhythms, vocals, and harmonies are in sync at all times. The…

Instrumental New Age Reviews: Jill Haley-The Waters of Glacier (Music For Glacier National Park)

Release Date: April 2, 2018 Label: Independent Website
The beauty that mother nature bestows upon is a gift. Many people feel this way and that is why we need to protect our lands and the environments that flourish there. Jill Haley is one of those people that appreciates and celebrates her surroundings wherever she is.

On The Waters of Glacier is her twelve track specifically for Glacier National Park. The area served as great inspiration.

Glacier National Park is located in the U.S. state of Montana, on the Canada–United States border with the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The park encompasses over 1 million acres and includes parts of two mountain ranges, over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants, and hundreds of species of animals. This incredible pristine land is one of our wonders of nature that is protected and revered. The Waters of Glacier was brought about by one simple choice. Jill was looking out the window of her residency there at …

Rock-Pop-Blues-Gospel-Country-R&B Review:Elvis Presley-The Searcher - The Original Soundtrack (Deluxe 3 CD Set)

Release Date: April 4, 2018 Label: Sony Legacy/RCA Website
As time passes and I learn more about Elvis Presley, the more I appreciate his legacy. Through several of the deluxe sets, I have gained a good education and heard some amazing music.

Elvis Presley: The Searcher The Original Soundtrack is a 3CD deluxe box set that features 37 additional Elvis cuts plus a special disc featuring selections from Mike McCready's (Pearl Jam) original score for Elvis Presley: The Searcher; Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performing "Wooden Heart," and the music that inspired Elvis that includes R&B and country classics and "Home Sweet Home" sung by his mother, Gladys Presley. The set also includes a 40-page book featuring rare photographs, liner notes by Warren Zanes, and a director's note by Thom Zimny. Those are some of the highlights of this comprehensive set.

The Searcher - The Original Soundtrack is more of a deeper look into the persona of the legendary performer we …

Instrumental New Age Review: Michael Kollwitz-Serenity II

Release Date: April 13, 2018 Label: Independent Website
Michael Kollwitz is set to release Serenity II. I had a great pleasure last year of enjoying Serenity I.This, of course, is a continuation of the first set of tracks. So, expect more of the same excellent relaxing music you heard before to be your experience this time around.

Kollwitz is one of the few masters of the Chapman Stick. Tony Levin comes to mind immediately when the subject of the stick arises. The instrument reminds me of the Sitar is some ways. It is a very versatile instrument that has the unique ability to combine the guitar and bass together to formulate one effective sound. Most impressive is the fact that the tracks for Serenity II were written, performed and produced by the artist.

The person that plays the stick must be extremely focused and versatile. Based on what I heard from the first Serenity album and what I am hearing on volume II, Michael is performing at a very high level.

The sixteen tracks offered on Sere…

Instrumental New Age-Chill-Classical Review: Richard Dillon-Terra Incognito-The Space Between Us

Release Date: February 14, 2018 Label: Independent Website
Before settling in and taking inTerra Incognito-The Space Between Us, I thought about the three albums I had the pleasure of covering last year. I got to know Richard through Ring Around The Moon, Irish MistandThe Land of Nod Lullabies for the Listless. There is a saying…familiarity breeds contempt, in this that could not be further from the truth. Having a comfort zone before I started made it even easier for me to get into my mindset for listening.
Although I do have that zone with Richard’s music, I certainly never know what to expect from him one album to the next. The only realistic expectation I have is that his music will be a great experience from start to finish.

Terra Incognito is unfamiliar territory, a new path or journey one is experiencing. A similar term, Terra Incognita, is in reference to territories that have not be mapped. To put it in layman’s terms, this is the unknown. Like Captain Kirk and his crew aboard the…

Singer/Songwriter David Fitzpatrick to Release Studio Album "Parachutes in Hurricanes"

New album due APRIL 27th
Guitarist/Songwriter David Fitzpatrick who has led Milwaukee’s Dave Fitzpatrick Band for decades will release his first major solo work entitled “Parachutes in Hurricanes” on Daystorm Music. Known for his production résumé, musician/engineer/producer Gary Tanin (Jack Spann, Sam Llanas, Roger Powell, Daryl Stuermer) was recruited to collaborate on Fitzpatrick’s solo opus due to arrive April 27th.

Nearly three years in the making, many musicians provided their artistry along with core members of David’s band. Fitzpatrick and Tanin spent countless session hours crafting the melodies and arrangements that resulted in the compositions on the album. “It was an extensive undertaking that could only have been steered by this songwriter’s single-minded passion for perfection,” explains producer Gary Tanin, “It took David's uncompromising excellence, courage, persistence, and dedication to the art form. I'm extremely proud of our achievement.”

Under the eagle ey…

New Age World Review: Darlene Koldenhoven-Chromatones

Release Date: June 1, 2018 Label:TimeArt Recordings Website
It is a pleasure once again to have the opportunity to cover the musical journeys of Ms. Darlene Koldenhoven. It was nearly a year ago that I was introduced to her fascinating Color Me HomeCD.

Now Chromatones has arrived. I figured it would be hard to top the previous release, however after 3 tracks I got the feeling that she has set the bar even higher. The new age and world elements come together in an explosion of sound and bright colors, painting your consciousness into the music effortlessly.

There are a number of important contributors from the New Age community that help to make this a great listen. Steve Shepherd (engineer, mixer, sound effects), Joanne Lazzaro (flute, alto flute, piccolo), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn), Al Jewer (English Horn), Tom Scott (clarinet), Wouter Kellerman (flute, bass flute), and there are many more. This is like having an all-star musical team to back her on this recording. And of course, the shini…

Instrumental New Age Chill Review: 7and5-The Lost Voice

Release Date: March 30, 2018 Label: Independent Website
The name 7and5 (John Nixon) came from the fact that all musical notes can be expressed within an octave on a piano as 7 white keys and 5 black keys. That is the explanation I received from John Nixon over 3 years ago when I covered his albumThemes For A Grey Day.

So, you probably got the hint that 7and5 is a keyboard player. Well, now you know if you didn’t. So, one day after its release I am listening to The Lost Voice. Now I remember why I enjoyed his music so much.

I got one step “Closer to Heaven,” with the atmospheric and intriguing opening track. I think we all get closer to the heavens when we let the music do all the work. For 7and5 it has been a musical evolution since the beginning when his first release In A Moments Time came out in 2006.

7and5 is a clever composer and musician. It is not always the easiest thing taking highly technical music and giving it rhythm and purpose. That is exactly what he does on The Lost Voice. T…