30 April 2018

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

Release Date: April 27, 2018
Label: PCM

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. I think I can relate that kind of mindset.

Improvisation is defined as such:  By something that is improvised, especially a piece of music, drama, etc., created without preparation. So, to create music without preparation would demand a tremendous insight into your chosen instrument. With that in mind, it would also require an incredible talent to start playing with a flow and sense of direction, and one that makes sense and is pleasing to a listener.

Peter has an innate sense of tone and rhythm in his offerings. I think this is something people are born with then it develops more when they explore their god given blessing. This thought hit me square between eyes while listening to “A 21st Century Monk.” That track is a progressive jazz infused listen that any Miles Davis or John Coltrane fan would appreciate. I count myself amongst the many that appreciate the founding fathers of progressive jazz. Even though it is different as a stand-alone track, and every one is, it is done with a touch of class. The artist starts off the track slowly, gradually introducing the improvisations to the listener. Rather hitting someone all at once with music off the beaten path as it were, this musician takes the intelligent path presenting his music.

The most entertaining and interesting aspect of Piano Improvisations Vol. 1 is that you are not anticipating any sort of style or trend. This is improvisation at its unpredictable best. I think this a strong release for Peter and it will engage his audience from start to finish leaving them wanting for more. Keep in mind this is only Volume 1 so more is likely to follow at some point, which keeps things exciting and interesting for the creator and listeners. This is an easy 5/5 stars because it is all solo piano creations at the highest level of difficulty. Bravo and a tip of the cap to Mr. Calandra for a job well, done!

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
 
April 30, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided MuzikMan Reviews & News

Tracks:

01. Carry the Torch
02. Two Days
03. Dreamland   
04. Distant Memory       
05. Summer Morn   
06. Mystery Night   
07. Enchanted Forest   
08. Often Minor   
09. Tonester
10. A 21st Century Monk   
11. Summer Rain
12. Off in the Distance
13. The Second Wave   
14.Blueish

 

25 April 2018

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 greatest audiences ever! It's kind of the pinnacle of everything we have done thus far.” - Neal Morse



Track Listing
Disc 1
0. Intro
1. Long Day
2. Overture
3. The Dream
4. City of Destruction
5. We Have Got To Go
6. Makes No Sense
7. Draw the Line
8. The Slough
9. Back to the City
10. The Ways of a Fool
11. So Far Gone
12. Breath of Angels

Disc 2
0. Slave to Your Mind
1. Shortcut to Salvation
2. The Man in the Iron Cage
3. The Road Called Home
4. Sloth
5. Freedom Song
6. I’m Running
7. The Mask
8. Confrontation
9. The Battle
10. Broken Sky / Long Day (Reprise)
Encore
11. Momentum
12. Author of Confusion
13. Agenda
14. The Call

To purchase Neal Morse Band's “The Similitude Of A Dream” 2CD/2DVD Set: 
http://www.radiantrecords.com/products/704-the-similitude-of-a-dream-live-in-tilburg-2017.aspx

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

22 April 2018

Rock-Pop Review: Bird Mancini-Dreams and Illusions

Release Date: May 1, 2018
Label: Bonk Zone Music

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 succinct vocals of Ruby and Billy are the trademark of the band. 

At this point in their recorded legacy, it goes without saying you will get some variety to go along with pop rock-oriented tracks. Mixed in are some tasty elements of blues and jazz, like on “When You Get Back.” The track has just the right mixture of all of those genres mixed in. This typifies the music of Bird Mancini and always keeps things interesting and lively from start to finish.

I have always felt a connection to this band because they are from Boston but it's really their music and the roots of the sounds I hear that gave me an instant connection. Even though the first time I heard them was many years ago. Time does not make that link disappear, if you love the music, it just gets stronger and more relevant with the passing of time. In fact, my appreciation for this music is more important to me now more than ever. It makes me smile inside and that is all I need for a good listen. Just like they sing “Life In A Song” will go on and on when we're gone, it is so true. Music, good music, like the kind Bird Mancini makes, will survive this world and all its difficulties and carry on.

I do promise that there will be a lot of enjoyment on every single song you hear on this album. That is a lot to hold myself to but I am so confident that you will love Dreams and Illusions that it doesn’t feel like I am going out on a limb to say that, it is a fact! 

You will hear great driving guitar licks, a pounding rhythm section, harmonica, saxophone, accordion, and a slew of other instrumentation and effects on Dreams and Illusions. I think what is paradoxical is the fact that this is not a dream or an illusion, this really is great music that I think that has a lot of crossover potential to reach new audiences. Yes, indeed Bird Mancini has created a real rock and pop gem that you should not miss. An added bonus is the CD booklet and all the lyrics. My final thought is, I sure would love to hear this on a vinyl LP someday!

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 22, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews & News

Tracks: 
01. Congratulations
02. Don't Blink
03. One Mistake
04. It's Already Done
05. It's an Illusion
06. Recluse
07. Wake Me Up When It's Over
08. Fault Line
09. Wishing Well
10. When You Get Back
11. Life In a Song
12. Wishing Well

 

13 April 2018

Music Legend SHUGGIE OTIS Lets His Guitar Take Center Stage On A New Fusion Rock Album INTER-FUSION!

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

Release Date: April 2, 2018
Label: Independent

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 the park and it was raining. Rather than complain and fall into self-pity she decided to enjoy the blessing of water. This was the beginning of creating some very beautiful music fit for such a grand location. The great outdoors can inspire many things but when you are a multi-faceted artist like Jill, it is literally music to her ears. And now that inspiration and vision are documented on CD with a booklet and some great pictures of the area of the park.

Jill Haley plays the oboe, English horn, piano, and handbells on the album and she is accompanied by David Cullen (guitar), Dana Cullen (horn), Tom Eaton (electric guitar, keyboards, and bass) and the incomparable Michael Manring and his distinct bass playing.

The Waters of Glacier continues a string of recordings dedicated to the environment. I have always enjoyed her offerings not only for the superb music but for the subject matter. Nothing is more precious than our planet, the giver of life. To see all pictures gathered inside the CD for this recording and the music telling each story, well, it was like I took the trip myself. The music is so engaging and picturesque and certainly, that is the intent here. I think Jill really did a great job putting this project together and making an impact on listeners in several different ways. It is emotional because of our ties to humans and the earth and the serenity found within the mountains of Montana and subsequently in the music. The music is alive and as it flows through each track, the feeling of your own personal connection to nature clicks instantly on the very first track then intensifies with each succeeding track.

The Waters of Glacier is a gorgeous representation of new age instrumental music with a divine purpose in mind. It is twofold, the first being the music to calm your soul and focus, and the second the moving sounds and atmospheres that reinforce the importance of national parks and the pristine nature that we can still find. In a world that is polluted and misused frequently, this is a wakeup call to reality. And first and foremost, it is a reminder of where we came from and what our job is as the stewards of this gift of life and beauty that is all around us..

Thank you for the reminder and the wonderful music again Jill.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 13, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Tracks:

01. Clouds on Apgar Range
02. Rain on Huckleberry Mountain  
03. Glacial Lakes
04. First Passageway
05. Running Eagle Falls   
06. Falling Gold   
07. Frost Tinged Evergreens   
08. Montana Rivers
09. Ox-Bow Point
10. Ripples on Two Medicine Lake   
11. October Snow
12. Solitude

The Security Project Feat. King Crimson & Peter Gabriel Members East Coast US & Canada Tour May/June 2018

09 April 2018

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

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 knew as The King. Not only are there three CDs with this set, an informative booklet is included and a soon to follow two-part HBO special that kicks off on April 14th. So, all of us Elvis fans get the full multimedia treatment this time around.

I think when you strip away the Elvis we knew on stage you find a very dedicated, serious and committed performer. And I think, more importantly, he is a man that never forget from whence he came. He was legendary for his generosity, and perhaps because he was brought up in poverty, he sincerely appreciated his stardom and all the things he could enjoy because of it.

The thing I always find so striking about Elvis was his ability to cover every genre with equal energy and class. There has been and never will be another more eclectic performer than Elvis. Being multi-dimensional was his calling, and did he ever fill those shoes with excellence. Having top-notch musicians to back him never hurt either. Like a quarterback with great receivers, he covered every nuance in each genre including Country, Blues, Pops, Gospel, R&B, and Rock. At times there were tracks that took a little of each influence to create a song, only Elvis could deliver.

Some of the tracks like “Blue Moon” showed how Elvis could get his voice to hit the higher register. The track will send a chill up your spine in a heartbeat. Its simplicity and atmosphere are exceptional and a complete step away from the previous track. That is one example of the many facets of Elvis. His emotion and soul were weaved into everything he sang. There are some tracks like “Blue Moon” that really make you realize what a powerful presence he had and unique delivery that made each song come alive.

I have been looking forward to this set for a long time and the HBO special as well. I think my education of Elvis; his music and life will be a continuing process for many of us. And I am loving every minute of it. I know without any doubt that everyone that came after him is indebted for his influence, and one that he is still having on anyone recording music.


5/5 Stars
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 9, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews and News


Elvis Presley: The Searcher (The Original Soundtrack) [Deluxe] – 3CD Deluxe Box Set

Disc 1
1. Trouble / Guitar Man
2. My Baby Left Me
3. Baby, What You Want Me To Do
4. Old Shep
5. That's When Your Heartaches Begin
6. That's All Right
7. Blue Moon Of Kentucky
8. Fool, Fool, Fool
9. Tweedlee Dee
10. Baby Let's Play House
11. Good Rockin' Tonight
12. Trying To Get To You
13. Blue Moon
14. When It Rains It Pours
15. Blue Christmas
16. Heartbreak Hotel
17. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
18. Money Honey
19. Hound Dog
20. (There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)
21. Crawfish
22. Trouble
23. Farther Along
24. Mona Lisa
25. Hide Thou Me
26. Loving You (end title take 16)
27. Lonely Man (solo version)
28. Power Of My Love


Disc 2
1. Milky White Way
2. A Mess Of Blues
3. Fame And Fortune
4. Love Me Tender / Witchcraft (duet with Frank Sinatra)
5. Like A Baby
6. Are You Lonesome Tonight?
7. It's Now Or Never
8. Wooden Heart
9. Swing Down Sweet Chariot
10. Reconsider Baby
11. Bossa Nova Baby
12. C'mon Everybody
13. Tomorrow Is A Long Time
14. Take My Hand, Precious Lord
15. Run On
16. Baby What You Want Me To Do
17. Suspicious Minds (take 6)
18. Baby Let's Play House (rehearsal)
19. Words (rehearsal)
20. That's All Right
21. Never Been To Spain
22. An American Trilogy
23. You Gave Me A Mountain
24. Burning Love (rehearsal version)
25. Separate Ways (rehearsal version)
26. Hurt (take 5)
27. If I Can Dream


Disc 3
1. Dissolution 2 - Mike McCready
2. Satisfied - The Blackwood Brothers
3. That's All Right - Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup
4. She May Be Yours But She Comes To See Me Sometimes - Joe Hill Louis
5. Mystery Train - Little Junior's Blue Flames
6. Smokestack Lightning - Howlin' Wolf
7. Rock-A-My Soul - The Blackwood Brothers
8. Just Walkin' In The Rain - The Prisonaires
9. Rocket 88 - Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats
10. Write Me A Letter - The Ravens
11. Blue Moon Of Kentucky - Bill Monroe
12. Ain't That Right - Eddie Snow
13. Just Walkin' In The Rain - Johnnie Ray
14. Lawdy Miss Clawdy – Lloyd Price
15. Home Sweet Home - Gladys Presley
16. Blowin' In The Wind - Odetta
17. Tomorrow Is A Long Time - Odetta
18. The Weight - The Staple Singers
19. Heartbreak Hotel - The Orlons
20. Wooden Heart - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
21. Rebound - Mike McCready

 

08 April 2018

Instrumental New Age Review: Michael Kollwitz-Serenity II

Release Date: April 13, 2018
Label: Independent

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 Serenity II are crisp and clear. They can melt away stress easily as the artist presents each of the tracks. The consistency is the key to the presentation on this recording. One track flows into the next seamlessly, like it was a force of nature, a normal occurrence. I found that kind of musical command is exceptional with this music.

Because of the way each track unites with the next I find difficult to pick anyone out in particular, they are all exceptional. This is more like one listen then a track by track experience. Although each composition may be dissimilar, the beauty and ease of the Chapman Stick allow such peacefulness with a listener that it becomes one piece of music. For my ears that is a powerful statement to make. It sets me at ease early on and maintains that hold on me until the music stops playing. 

Serenity II is a strong follow up to the first volume. I will be interested to see what direction Michael goes after this release. I would not expect a volume III, at least not without him releasing something that takes the listener in another direction. The thought of that alone peaks my interest. For now, I will kick back and let this music take over and let my worries of the day disappear.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 8, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. The Presence
02. Wrapped In Love 04:14   
03. Climbing The Mountain
04. Clear Passage
05. Live And Let Live
06. The Balance
07. Blue Skies
08. Pure Signal
09. Welcome Home
10. A Greater Purpose
11. One With Nature
12. Shaman's Cave
13. Easy Does It
14. Breaking Free
15. Beyond The Clouds
16. Way Of Knowledge

 

05 April 2018

Flav Martin & Jerry Marotta Release Debut Album Soul Redemption

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

Release Date: February 14, 2018
Label: Independent

Before settling in and taking in Terra 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 Mist and The 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 starship enterprise, we embark upon a journey with wonder and excitement, with no prior knowledge of what will come our way.

Terra Incognito-The Space Between Us is everything that I just discussed. Such diversity presented so well deserves a hearty salute and tip of the cap. Richard manages to record 24 tracks and some redux’s with an energy and grace that comes flowing through the music like a steady running stream. 

The colors are changing all the time on this recording. From track to track you just do not know what is coming next. It is like having Christmas at your own private music shop and Richard is the sole proprietor. The reason this recording is so eclectic is that it takes past recordings and weaves them together to encompass orchestration and licensing going back to 1984 all the way to present day.

It is music for movies, documentaries, commercials, just about anything you can imagine. Instrumental music is much more flexible when it comes to using it for various media purposes. I really appreciated the ground covered musically and the titles range from “In Search of Chocolate” to “Leonardo’s Flying Machine.” There is no connection whatsoever with those two tracks but yet they find a home here in this collection.

Terra Incognito-The Space Between Us unites us as listeners and human beings even though it is unchartered territory, our similarities and the world around us is what makes us one planet and one people. It is like taking a “Light of Peace” to heal us and help us to grow in many ways. The universal healer and language of music once again can be the answer.


5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 5, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:

01. Whalesong (Redux)
02. Green Flash (Redux)
03. The Space Between
04. Dust Devil
05. Ice Dancer (Redux)
06. Color Me
07. In Search of Chocolate
08. Leonardo's Flying Machine
09. Beside Still Waters (Redux)
10. Papillon (Redux)
11. Lead Kindly Night
12. It's All Right (Redux)
13. Cars
14. Voyager
15. Into the Mines
16. He Leadeth Me Beside Still Waters (Redux)
17. A Different Time a Different Place (Redux)
18. Light of Peace (Redux)
19. Goodbye for Now
20. Sea of Forgetfulness
21. Ha Long Bay
22. Missing You
23. January Moon (Redux)
24. I Could Care Less



03 April 2018

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 eye of veteran engineer Ric Probst, Planet Green Productions recorded the entourage at Tanner-Monagle, Inc. Guest musicians included Jack Spann, Jazz Guitar legend Dick Eliot, Dave Schoepke, Michael Koch, Ethan Bender, Saxophonist Luke Lilla, and Dave Fitzpatrick Band members Paul Noeske, Gerry Ochoa, Craig Brog and Tom Buckley.



“Fitzpatrick's vocalizing comes on like Metallica's James Hetfield raised on an aural diet of John Mellencamp and The Smithereens tops off a sound at once reassuringly familiar and yet currently unique.” Jamie Lee Rake - Shepherd Express

A “spiritual restlessness” in a body of work that represents a life’s worth of insight, "Parachutes in Hurricanes" balances joy and darkness expressing down-to-earth emotion packed with heartfelt examinations of love and life that every person can relate to.

The album releases April 27th in digital formats and June 8th in physical formats through Daystorm Music. Available digitally on 04/27 via  iTunes, Amazon or CD Baby.

For information on David Fitzpatrick visit: www.facebook.com/davefitzpatrickband

Contact: Gary Tanin - Daystorm Music, PH: 414-321-9956, daystormusic@garytanin.com

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

02 April 2018

New Age World Review: Darlene Koldenhoven-Chromatones

Release Date: June 1, 2018
Label: TimeArt Recordings

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 Home CD.

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 shining star of the show, Darlene, who not only composes, produces, arranges and engineers the tracks, she provides piano, keyboards, synths, and the Native drums and shaker.

The first track that really moved me was “Red Savannah.”  Its complexities and textures are like an intricately woven patchwork quilt.  The selection of instruments and the mix of them makes for an outstanding listen from the very first note to the last. 

“Native Bloom” with its earthy tones, rhythms and select instruments like the Native Flute make you feel like you stepped into a time capsule back to the time when our first Americans inhabited the land. It’s a strong yet beautiful reminder of how important these gifted people were and how their influence and heritage shaped our nation. I would advise putting your headphones or earbuds in and sitting back and letting the music form the thoughts and images in your mind’s eye. It is so healing to hear this music and it is presented exceptionally well.

There is so much to offer on Chromatones and I only scratched the surface of what is in store if you get this music (you can pre-order it April 25th). I think Darlene Koldenhoven has hit a high watermark with this recording. As I said about Color Me Home, I think this will be in the running for a Grammy. This is music for the heart, soul, and mind of any listener. 

For my ears, this kind of music and the quality of the production serves many areas in the world of media including soundtracks for nature specials, movies or sound bites for commercials, or for the most important audience, for those looking for solace and healing.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 2, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Tracks: 
01.Golden Dawn
02. Morning Dew
03. Red Savannah
04. Swans on the Seine
05. Terra
06. Native Bloom
07. Vibrant Worlds
08.Chromatones
09. Prism
10. Painted In Time
11. Waltzing in Planetary Time

01 April 2018

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

Release Date: March 30, 2018
Label: Independent

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 album Themes 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. The cover is very interesting and thought-provoking, which is yet another aspect of artistry that I appreciate. Some artist will tell that there is no meaning to the cover on the CD and say “I thought it was a cool picture.” I do not think that is the case here. 

What you see is a pure white phone on what appears to be on the white sand of a beach. The main message here is the cord connecting the phone has no end to it. There is a voice, it is connected but for now, it is just lost. Perhaps the music will elevate the voice’s purpose so it finds its way home? Are the cords end at the beginning of the water's edge or at the skyline? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe the answer is that we are all connected to Mother Nature and the significance of the cord leads back to the ocean from whence all life came from. Are we a lost human race looking for our way home?

Ok, that is a lot of thought about one picture, I know. That is positive proof that images can be powerful and when you combine images and sound you can find your way home. You find your “Presence” is necessary to receive the messages inside the music. That makes sense to me because I let the music envelop me, which allows relaxation and complete freedom of thought and expression. That is what the listening “experience” is for me. It is different for everyone.

I know one thing for sure, The Lost Voice is a very good album. Once again, this kind of music reminded of some of my favorite ambient and atmospheric bands like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk. The elements of simplicity with the piano combined with the synths and computer-generated sounds is like the meeting of the best of both worlds. It takes vision and intelligence to stand alone and create music like this. It all flows together from one track to the next like our brain synapses growing with each thought. The more you use it the stronger and more useful it becomes.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 31, 2018

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Closer to Heaven
02. Life at Once
03. Father
04. Mi Deh Yah
05. Glistening
06. Blue Flame
07. Open Up
08. Presence
09. Winter Frost
10. Heart to Heart
11. Man Plans, God Laughs
12. Distant Memory
13. Wavecrest
14. Epilogue