Monday, February 26, 2024

We Share The Moon By Lissa Coffey & David Vito Gregoli

 


 


We Share The Moon

By

Lissa Coffey & David Vito Gregoli

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

We can remember with great fondness Song Devine by Lissa Coffey & David Vito Gregoli, it was one of the biggest hits of 2021 and remained in the charts and the minds of good musical followers the globe over for seemingly an age, well the partnership of divine inspiration are back with another album entitled We Share The Moon.

This journey of plenty starts with the opening composition entitled Written All Over Your Face, and featuring the vocal talents of feat Leela Ladnie, this vibrant modern upbeat song gifts us as listeners a chance to bathe in the sonic realms of a globally fused devotional inspired composition.

We can follow that up with the title song, We Share The Moon (feat Leela and Cooper Ladnier) this has to be one of my personal favourites from the album. The softness of this creation is so palpable; its melodic structures are deeply moving and visual, and the key change and energy uplift of the chorus was equally sublime.

I Surrender could well be a vital composition for the world in this day and age, time to let it go and drop the baggage as Mitten used to sing back in the day. The vocals of Ladnie are featured in this fine multi-instrumental composition, the onward progression of the percussion and the flavoursome sitar brought a wonderful texture to the piece.

Net of Love (feat Donna De Lory) is up next and this driving piece has an almost folk element to its construction at times, but one that has a deep anthem like motif. The powerful vocals add much to the weight of the song and this could very well be a hit single if released as such. There is a great strength to be found on this most exciting of manifestations, but it would also be good to remember in De Lory they have a singer who has performed on the highest of stages with artists like Madonna, and featured on many hit albums from artists like Carly Simon and Bette Midler.

We Share The Moon by Lissa Coffey & David Vito Gregoli is music inspired by the words of Rumi, Hafiz, Mirabai and others, and the energies of this exciting collection of motivational muses is further highlighted at the half way marker with the track Listen (feat N. Nicole Gilbert) a truly beautiful ballad, the enthusing lyrics and vocals are wonderfully encouraging.

Something In Between sees the return of vocalist Leela Ladnie and with that she contributes her lush tones to one of the most chilled tracks from the album; this song is as easy as a cumulus cloud on a May afternoon, as it drifts across the landscape of eternity.

This beauty of a track is followed up by Krishna Govinda, as we move ever onwards into this abundant release. The deft percussive elements here make this track for me, on a sublime devotional offering, one that has a sumptuous and bubbly pop ethic to its construction.

Like Ambrosia (feat Leela and Cooper Ladnier) takes us under the bridge of brilliance, and this quite imploring bhajan shines like the noon day summer sun, the construction of the verse towards the chorus reminds me of the UK prog band Renaissance at times, but its delightful progression is a respectful and calming opus of plenty, like Ambrosia itself.

The penultimate offering from the album is entitled All I Thought Was Mine and features Leela Ladnier and Geoffrey Gordon. There is a delightfully mysterious flow about this offering that is so enticing, and the upbeat tempos with their reflective projections are sublime to be a part of as a listener.

The final gift from Lissa Coffey & David Vito Gregoli and this amazing new release is Maha Mantra (feat Vishvambhar Sheth, Venu Bhanot, Pankaj Mishra). David Vito Gregoli also stars in many roles and instrumentations on this track and this album, and it should indeed be noted as the following list will no doubt illustrate that he is most certainly instrumentally prolific, with contributions on drums, bass, acoustic and electric guitars, sitar, percussion, Indian percussion, keyboards, piano, Irish bouzouki, and backing vocals.

We Share The Moon by Lissa Coffey & David Vito Gregoli is indeed the follow up to the star studded and ultra-successful Song Devine, but here on this latest release we have an album that is equally as spiritually minded, but may even be more accessible to the first time listener, and as such this new release will be sure to sail up the charts as did its predecessor, and in doing so bring joy and comfort to all who listen to its musical messages. 


Thursday, February 22, 2024

Beyond the Horizon By Francis V

 


Beyond the Horizon

By

Francis V

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Francis V is really shaking the musical tree lately, with a powerful album in A Place For Dreamers, a hit single from the album in the track Dreamers, and now his latest offering from the album, Beyond the Horizon featuring the sensitive and heartfelt vocals of Kelly Rose Moncado with its official YouTube video.

The electronic vibe is built beautifully on by a passionate song that teaches humanity once more about working together and being one with the world we live on, dropping the fear and simply put, getting real. Yes indeed we have been told this many times, but perhaps music, being the only language that ever speaks the truth, is the best medium with which we can finally address the situation.

Francis V is an accomplished musician and his compositions are really taking a foothold in the instrumental, electronic genres as well as the chill out and vocal styled avenues of musical direction. There can be no doubt that we are witnessing a rise of a truly great composer in the making, if Beyond the Horizon is anything to go by, but it doesn’t stop there, a creative and imploring new video can be found along with this new song and it is deeply moving and very compelling, so please check that out, a link to it will be at the bottom of this review.

Beyond the Horizon ft Kelly Rose Moncado by Francis V is a sure fire hit on the charts, it’s the musical shot in the arm we all needed to hear and as such I see another successful hit single with it for the artist on the horizon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0YXHeMKknI  


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Immerse By Timothy Wenzel

 


Immerse

By

Timothy Wenzel

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Timothy Wenzel has long been an instrumentalist whose music has always resonated with me; it is a radiant joy each time I get the honour of reviewing his latest album release. That joy glows brighter than the noon day sun today as I swim through the musical water courses of an incredibly beautifully new collection of stunning arrangements called, Immerse.

Firstly the art work is always going to draw one to the album, Timothy always manifests truly colourful and meaningful covers, this one resonated with me specifically, as it reminds me of a coastal area I like to go to here in Cyprus, during the winter it is particularly ambient and quiet, I like it then best of all.

The opening start of this journey of great tone and timbre begins with the lush textures of The Gale, an exciting piece that contains a creative and artistic flow of a composition that one can enjoy with ease, this flows gently into the open arms of one of my personal favourite pieces off the release entitled Hello My Friend, where a warm tapestry of sound drifts beautifully into and onto the senses of the grateful listener.

This new release is a 12 track masterpiece of patience, mood, feeling, and sensitivity to the moment, and a skill set of adding further quality musicians into the mix of various songs, on this album you will find a veritable plethora of instrumental genius in artists like, Tom Carleno (acoustic guitar), David Cullen (electric guitar), Graham Cullen (cello), Jill Haley (English horn), Jeff Haynes (percussion), and Josie Quick (violin) each in their own right quality instrumentalists.

Tracks like My Siren created waves of supreme compositional structure to bathe in, and the strings and vocalisations add a little Celtic motif into the essence of the offering, whilst more grounded pieces like River, Hills and Sky gave the listener a slice of acoustic magic, and a piece that had all the hallmarks of a 70’s pop song in the making, and one that would possibly make a good single release in today’s market.

There are several tracks here that resonate with me, this one especially and entitled Nightfall at Avebury, now I have visited Stonehenge many times, but never got around to Averbury, but it is a beautiful location, and this song is equally as beautiful and its hovering sense of mystery, wonderfully composed and performed.

The acoustic narrative is strong in the concluding track called Thank You for Your Smile, and its mournful yet reflective refrains show just what a good keyboardist Wenzel is on the most perfect of all final pieces, the electric guitar of Cullen sealing the deal completely.

This fantastic new offering from Timothy Wenzel is like a breath of fresh air in the new age music industry, when Timothy releases an album he always seems to come up with something special, and with this brand new album entitled Immerse we truly do have something idyllic and heart-warming to listen to. I don’t need a crystal ball to predict the up and coming success of Immerse on the charts, as this one is a sure fire hit with absolute ease.


Forward Direction by Craigology

 


Forward Direction

By

Craigology

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Forward Direction is the latest single release from then abundant river of music from Craigology. This piano and keyboard based offering has an addictive quality about its presentation; the hovering string sections offer a darker side to this most compelling musical narrative.

The key change at the 50 second marker is elevating and offers another level of texture to the ever onward composition, and raises the rhythm and intent of the arrangement completely; one could see this being used in a TV series to emphasise change and the determination and the desire to do so.

The performance by Craigology is tight and controlled cleverly, then at the half way juncture expands into a forceful composition that has all the hallmarks of a possible hit single for the artist.

Simply put if you’re a fan of piano and keyboard based music that takes you on journey with its narrative of mystery and imagination, then Forward Direction by Craigology should be added to your playlist of choice immediately. 


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues By Michael Whalen

 


Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues

By

Michael Whalen

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

To say Michael Whalen is on a roll lately would be vastly under rating his supreme successes, none more so than with his amazing last chart topping album Walk In Beauty, Like The Night. Whalen is literally on fire musically, so here he is back again, but with another little slice of his musical self to offer up, and this one is entitled Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues.

The opening piece is full of excitement and energy and called So Far From Home, and this track speaks for me entirely, when I found myself in Jamaica in 2004, that kind of vibrant Caribbean, Latin styled energy is well within the mix of this most effervescent opening offering.

We can follow that up quickly with a funky little number entitled Shorty's In Love; this so much reminds me of Stevie Wonder in the days of Sir Duke, the incredibly stylish keyboards here from Whalen just show what an amazingly accomplished music he is.

It’s time for the title track and that of course is Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues, this classic Jazzy blues number takes me back solidly to the 70’s, that funky synth and vibrant beat could so easily have been heard on shows like Starsky and Hutch back in the day. This one is almost a crossover of funk and progressive rock, and it’s delicious refrains will live forever in this old musical heart, in the same way as Soft Machine did back in the early ‘70’s; a song like Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues should garner a standing ovation in a live set.

The more piano orientated First Light is up next, and this gentle melody and catchy chorus would not be out of place on a TV sitcom like Cheers back in the day, but here Whalen brings an element of warmth in this wonderfully fluent and charming opus.

This is one of those albums that you might want to remember to breathe whilst listening to, as it’s so very easy to get caught up with its exciting energies, speaking of which, take a listen to this thoughtful yet ever onward song entitled The Sweet, Sweet Rain. This composition is another anthem styled manifestation that would go down really well, as the credits of a Hollywood movie rolled downward upon the big screen.

So we can now take a step into the latter half of the album and as we do so we come across one of the more chilled offerings from the album called My Autumn Heart. The mood is set perfectly for this reflective piece; the Jazzy keyboards, and also while we are here, let’s just remind you that every note, every piece of instrumentation within this album has been lovingly manifested by Whalen himself, this track for me is a highlight among many, it’s an amalgamation of moody brilliance.

Now while Cairo is literally just a short flight for me, I have yet to visit its favourable vibrations, here on Cairo Blues, Michael has manifested a piece where I and others can take that journey vicariously through the energies of this most danceable offering. The clever keyboard work here does indeed illustrate perfectly the mood and vibrancy of that region, one that we can wave to over the Mediterranean Sea from my vantage point.

We are now deep within the weave of the album, and as we drift along in the sublime tones of another great release, we come across one of my personal favourites from the album entitled Dance Of The Morning, this piece is so smooth one could slide across the polished nature of the track with ease, the chord changes and structures are utterly beautifully and wonderfully crafted, this is one of those pieces that I truly believe would make an excellent single.

Well we have arrived at the portal to our penultimate piece and this one is a funkster of an offering, Ok I have made up a new word, but I think after all these years I am entitled! Whalen’s synths and keyboard magic, and his extremely well crafted percussion, gift us a true fun piece to bliss out on called All That You Dream, and perhaps even taking us back to the late ‘80’s whilst doing so.

So it’s time to creak open the final present to this new album and we leave the project with an emotive offering called A Million Miles From My Heart. This heart felt piece is a beautiful parting gift from the artist; one that is deeply melodic and emotionally powerful, in a similar way with which REO Speedwaggon was back in the day.

Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues by Michael Whalen is a sprightly collection of eclectic brilliance by the artist; there literally is something for ever one here on this colourful album. The production of anything Whalen touches is of the highest quality, and if you haven’t heard this instrumentalist before I would truly urge you to do so at all costs, as each and every one who listens to this album will find something musical meant for them wrapped up inside, this one is sure to be another huge mega hit for the artist.


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Vivid Dreams Of Love By Piano Lilium & Cynthia Lim 林意

 


Vivid Dreams Of Love

By

Piano Lilium & Cynthia Lim 林意

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

We take two modern solo pianists; combine their talents, their energies and textures, and the resulting composition is one that is so filled with passion and colour, it is literally palpable to touch and feel the appetite within.

Vivid Dreams Of Love by Piano Lilium & Cynthia Lim 林意 manifests for us always eager listeners, a moment of solo piano duality that is simply sublime, and rates as a splendid collaboration of both style, and a desire of creating something so filled with love.

The touches of both pianists are a master class of musical fire and water, of panache and elegance, with the flourishing notes cascading from both pianos, and then the symbiotic nature of the composition manifests a gentle onward stream of musical awareness to thoroughly enjoy.

For me personally I adore the creative minor chords and structures, which are then in turn lifted by one of the most amazingly talented of symbiotic performances, with that being said, I can see the legions of piano music fans around the globe eating this one up with utter joy, this is truly special and should not be missed.


Sapphire By Al Jewer & Andy Mitran ft Hans Christian

 


Sapphire

By

Al Jewer & Andy Mitran ft Hans Christian

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

The duet of Al Jewer & Andy Mitran have been making their way through a musical catalogue of crystals for a while now, and each and every track has been a redolent subject matter of the very own energetic signature of each crystal, when of course you add the illustrious talents of Hans Christian into the mix, you are bound for ambient glory.

Here on this new single entitled Sapphire we have one of my personal favourites thus far, and speaking as one who has studied crystals I would say without doubt that this composition strikes the right tone for this gloriously beautiful object. The handsomely layered multi-instrumentalism by this team really nails every piece that they take on, and within this new single we have a delightfully deep cello of Christian, one that flows like the ever onward motion of a slow river of sound.

Al Jewer on flute always manifests something utterly transcendent, and on this new release that is raised a notch or two along the way and with the lush and textured synth pads of his long standing partner Andy Mitran, we have a piece that is deeply attractive. Sapphire is seen as a great curative crystal, and carries a healing vibration that is beneficial to the mind, bringing order and clarity where there is confusion, something the entire world needs now I would say, and with the release of this new offering from this trio of musical greatness, I have a sense, an energetic hint, that Sapphire by Al Jewer & Andy Mitran ft Hans Christian will be a power to be reckoned with in the charts in the weeks to come.


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

My Prayer For Peace By Louis Colaiannia

 


My Prayer For Peace

By

Louis Colaiannia

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

There are some creators of music that work with a hint of musical colour and explore wondrous avenues of musical narration; there are others that utilise simplicity and a gentle form, and from its initial inception go on to manifest some meaningfully impressive music.

Here pianist composer Louis Colaiannia has done all of that and more with the release of his latest single My Prayer For Peace. The multi-dimensional facets of this new composition are delightful and very sensitively performed by the artist, so much so that one is lulled into a state of peace whilst listening.

We must all hope for peace, and we can only put out the energy for that into the cosmos, for that desire to come to fruition. Here the artist with his trusty piano, one that has served him so well over the years, combined with lush string sections and added instrumentation, manifests the perfect musical prayer of thought and a potential chance of a positive outcome with the stylish arrangement of this new release.

There can be no doubt that Louis Colaiannia is a composer of meaningful creations and here on My Prayer For Peace, he gives us his soundtrack for that hopeful event, and a song that is simply destined for great things in the charts and a delight for his fans the world wide.


Monday, February 12, 2024

The Rebirth By Kike de Santo

 


The Rebirth

By

Kike de Santo

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

There is an extremely powerful sense of anticipation built into this whole new single entitled The Rebirth by Kike de Santo, from its inception one is literally on the edge for those whole six minutes plus, eager to see, hear and feel the outcome of this quite inventive and artistic new arrangement.

The electronic energies of this instrumental endeavour are wonderfully worked and mysterious in intent and mood, the artist swirls from various segments within this new creation, and this adds to the drama and mysticism of the actual piece itself.

At times it reminds me of a deep meditational manifestation, as its musical expression is both vast and exhilarating, the segment at just around 90 seconds is literally enticing, and soon a percussive beat is added into the heart beat of the track and this extra layer makes it an even more addictive composition, as it continues to play forever onward with its added middle eastern flavours.

The Rebirth by Kike de Santo is well named as the tone and timbre of the piece leads one to believe that this is actually developing as an eventual occurrence. It’s excellent to hear truly good new age music with a slight global fusion again, and the genre will be far better off for having The Rebirth by Kike de Santo in it.


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

When We Met By Neil Tatar

 


When We Met

By

Neil Tatar

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Neil has been exploring his piano narrative for a while now, and on this new single called When we Met he brings a little multi-instrumental nature into the manifestation of the arrangement, with the luscious violin of non-other than the living legend that is, Charlie Bisharat.

The soft delicate vibrations of this new single are so pleasing to the ear, heart, mind and soul, they are a musical delicacy that brings the listener an opportunity to sample the birth of something new perhaps, something fresh to your world; the innocence of the timbre of this charming single says it all for me.

Tatar’s soft touch on the keys are well matched by Bisharat’s sensitive performance on violin, this two have a literal symbiotic connection to bring the listener a view of something deeply moving but utterly heartfelt, one could easily use this beautiful new piece at a new sunrise, or even a sunset, as each are as unique as the other.

When We Met by Neil Tatar is a delightful and warm new creation; it should be loved by fans of truly good instrumental music world wide, and also by those who are seeking a refuge or a veritable musical sanctuary to rest within, and find a little loving peace, this one is top notch and of the highest quality.


Goodbye By Richard Dillon

 


Goodbye

By

Richard Dillon

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

This new single by Richard Dillion is a solemn and deeply moving pastiche of tone that drifts upon the misty landscapes of musical time and vibration, the hovering aspect of this new single reminds me of the style of composition once created by the composer Ravel and his arrangement called Pavane for a Dead Princess.

Goodbye is a touching manifestation of solo piano brought into this world by pianist and composer Richard Dillon. Richards’s music has been with me on this solo piano journey for many years, but in more modern times his music has continued to take twists and turns into other styles and formats, but on Goodbye he once more treats the solo piano fans amongst us with another graceful composition.

Within this song there is there is an almost imploring narrative of sound, that for one moment breaks free of its reflective mood in an effort to be heard for one last time, then Richards gentle and respectful performance continues until its departing coda. Goodbye is a solo piano single of true reflection, memory and perhaps, even acceptance will be found here hidden within.


Friday, February 2, 2024

First Love By Adelynn Shan Lee

 


First Love

By

Adelynn Shan Lee

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

The haunting reverie of a magical flute echoes through the forest, like tones of a midsummer’s night dream beginning to coalesce for an evening of mystery and imagination.

This composition from Adelyn Shan Lee entitled First Love comes at the perfect time for me, as nature moves from its slumbers towards a grateful spring; the aforementioned lyrical prose gives me that feeling of love for life and all that surrounds us in this veritable woodland of a flute performance.

Adelynn’s performance is literally mesmerizing; a good solo flute performance will do that, and strangely enough it was at this point that I realised I had now been listening to this song no less than 6 times on repeat, so my point is well made and her flute performance must indeed have been all entrancing.

The artist has that magical touch, she not only feels the music she feels each and every note, tone and vibration, making First Love by Adelynn Shan Lee a must listen too for any fans of flute music, or for a musical presentation that will both transfix your attention and take you on an ever onward journey of tone and timbre and into a delightful bliss filled state. 


Kinetic By DM Ascension

 


Kinetic

By

DM Ascension

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

The instrumental flavours run deep in this jazzy new single from DM Ascension entitled Kinetic; this is certainly a tonal delight of rich summer evenings to be had in a future filled with musical fun. Kinetic in fact crosses several genres along the way, and is a piece that is also incredibly addictive too.

The gentle electric piano starts our smooth Jazz journey off with a confident forward moving energy, a little flute mixed with a sensitive percussive feel adds so much to this startlingly beautiful and fluent composition.

DM Ascension creates some clever instrumental pieces, but I truly believe that with Kinetic it is the best work of the artist thus far, and will have the musical legs that will travel on listener’s playlists and radio shows right up until the end of summer, here is a song that is packed with cool energy and a happy refrain and one not to be missed.

Kinetic by DM Ascension is going to be a chart hit from start to finish, and if you are looking for a chilled, instrumental, smooth jazz styled offering, then you would do no better than this sparkling new single by DM Ascension called Kinetic.


Thursday, February 1, 2024

Dreams and Shadows BY Victor Birkan

 



Dreams and Shadows

BY

Victor Birkan

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

The master of felt piano Victor Birkan is back with another single and this time he glances into the world of Dreams and Shadows, this has to one of Victors most textured offerings to date, the explorative style starts in a tentative tone, but soon embraces his new found reality.

Dreams and the shadows they create can affect our day time perambulations as well, and within the mid-section of this sensitive arrangement one can feel the tone sharpen, become deeper, as if reality has taken hold, perhaps in a waking moment, but then the performances falls softly back to its previous timbre as sleep once more takes control.

Victor Birkan is the creator of some inventive and artistic creations and on this new single he shows his more cautious artistic persona, as if the listener is literally walking in a dream state and unsure of what may lie around the next corner.

This one should pacify those who adore solo piano and wish to be taken on a journey through music. Victors skill set on this instrumentation is delightfully relative, and as such, he should be able to add to that list of ever showing hits with ease, Dreams and Shadows.



Cascading Matter - Being in Between By Raphael Sommer & Mandach Naran

 


Cascading Matter - Being in Between

By

Raphael Sommer & Mandach Naran

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

I sometimes really revel in the delights of powerful and explorative classical and neo-classical music arrangements, but in my view this master work by Raphael Sommer & Mandach Naran goes far beyond even that, this is a composition that crosses genres and entwines vibrations of life and energies of an inner void of musical contemplation.

Cascading Matter - Being in Between is a piece that has all the dramatic hallmarks of a sublime cinematic offering, but also within the weave of this dramatic offering we can find a sense of ambience and minimalistic gestures, that perhaps remind me of composers like David Lang and his work on his release, The Passing Measures.

This has to be one of the most commanding classical manifestations I have listened to for decades; its dominant orchestration is palpable, but even so, this gives way to an ethereal choir, in the way that winter oceans give way to the sands on a December beach.

If like Lang’s work, this arrangement had a 40 minute plus time frame I would not have minded, I would have immersed myself within its stylish tone and timbre as I do now with this illustrious piece, this is a composition for the ages and for those who truly enjoy top notch classically inspired music, which makes it very easy to recommend Cascading Matter - Being in Between by Raphael Sommer & Mandach Naran.

If you enjoy watching the videos to music, then you can find it here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvWty6MNJ6g 


Native Rose By Jan Michael Looking Wolf

 


Native Rose

By

Jan Michael Looking Wolf

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

It’s wonderful to hear to hear Jan Michael Looking Wolf back with acoustic guitar in hand and of course his trusty flute by his side and with the release of the single entitled Native Rose he takes us an a wonderfully fluent and attractive singer songwriter journey.

The acoustic nature of the beginning settles the listener into a blissful five minutes plus of a remarkably almost folk rock styled composition, one that has great power, passion and intensity and with the artists flowing vocals and with their imploring tone, we are gifted something incredibly special from a man who has done so much for many within the world of music.

Lyrically this song, and at times the vocals too, remind me of early Neil Diamond on his Tap Root Manuscript album from 1970, the more acoustic nature would naturally bring such a comparison, but here the added flute and delicate harmonies towards a bliss-filled end, create something really warm and colourful.

Jan Michael Looking Wolf is one of those musicians that you utterly look forward to hearing music from when it’s announced they have new material out, as such this composition, Native Rose, should be one that his fans and lovers of really good unplugged music should flock to in great numbers, it is that good.


Can You Feel the Love Tonight By Jan Michael Looking Wolf

 


Can You Feel the Love Tonight

By

Jan Michael Looking Wolf

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

I have always been a big fan of the music of Elton John; his partnership with Bernie Taupin in the 70’s was nothing less than magical and when the ‘94 movie the Lion King came about from Disney, his partnership with writer Tim Rice brought about the iconic hit called Can You Feel the Love Tonight. So, when I heard that the world renowned Native American flute performer Jan Michael Looking Wolf had obtained the rights to create his own version of this great song I was truly elated. Like the creators version, the beginning of the song is has a delicate piano base and the flute that soon joins in is one of the most heartfelt and meaningful you’re ever likely to hear.

It is usually a difficult task to manifest a respectful offering to an already top global hit, but the flutes of the artist transcend any doubt and raise the piece to glorious heights, with added percussion and a tender tempo, fans of the Lion King the world over will flock to this new offering with glee in their hearts.

The flutes of Jan Michael Looking Wolf are a sacred thing and they manifest magic that is palpable, and I am happy to report from the wildlands of musical nature, that it's enough for this wide-eyed wanderer that we've got this far, in a blissful new single release from one of the finest Native American flute performers of all time, so grab a copy today and feel the love tonight.


Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The Rebirth By Kike de Santo

 


The Rebirth

By

Kike de Santo

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

There is an extremely powerful sense of anticipation built into this whole new single entitled The Rebirth by Kike de Santo, from its inception one is literally on the edge for those whole six minutes plus, eager to see, hear and feel the outcome of this quite inventive and artistic new arrangement.

The electronic energies of this instrumental endeavour are wonderfully worked and mysterious in intent and mood, the artist swirls from various segments within this new creation, and this adds to the drama and mysticism of the actual piece itself.

At times it reminds me of a deep meditational manifestation, as its musical expression is both vast and exhilarating, the segment at just around 90 seconds is literally enticing, and soon a percussive beat is added into the heart beat of the track and this extra layer makes it an even more addictive composition, as it continues to play forever onward with its added middle eastern flavours.

The Rebirth by Kike de Santo is well named as the tone and timbre of the piece leads one to believe that this is actually developing as an eventual occurrence. It’s excellent to hear truly good new age music with a slight global fusion again, and the genre will be far better off for having The Rebirth by Kike de Santo in it.


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Clarity By Lisa Cullum

 


Clarity

By

Lisa Cullum

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Clarity is the latest release from pianist and composer Lisa Cullum and it is probably her best work thus far, this is a veritable neo-classical delight, a true treat to the ears and something to completely give oneself too, the whole composition and arrangement is a moving cinematic delight of bliss.

One can feel an ocean of Clarity open up on this new offering from the pianist, the string sections and segments are a delightful repose and an oasis of calmness, I for one could imagine diving into the deep clear seas of the Mediterranean here, and seeing the utter beauty of nature that lays almost unseen at times below.

It has been a pleasure to see the progress of a musician that came into my world back in 2020 through an album called Elle, and now on this marvellous musical stage 4 years later, she has released one of the most beautiful pieces of piano based music with orchestration that I have heard in this style for some years.

This is simply what instrumental and neo-classical music should be about, music to raise the senses and mood with perfect tonal reflection, and as such I can see Clarity by Lisa Cullum becoming extremely popular, not only on the charts, but with the eager army of piano music fans the world round, this is a single that is truly special.


Monday, January 29, 2024

Stiklestad By Ask Askr

 


Stiklestad

By

Ask Askr

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

This has to be one of the most fascinating and unique new singles I have had the pleasure of both listening to and writing a review for. Stiklestad by Ask Askr has some sublime instrumental moments within its arrangement and a historical narrative that relates to the country of Norway, in a truly special new single from the artists.

It’s excellent to see Ask Askr back on the scene again; I remember all too well their last successful single entitled Distant Veil. This post-rock ambient trio certainly know how to produce riveting material in a genre that is growing daily. Today they take us back in time to the Battle of Stiklestad; however it’s hard to believe, but back in the 9th century a nowadays peace filled Norway was ravaged by war, and under the reign of several kings, and rising up from the ashes there came about a civil holy war led by King Olaf II, which in time would bear the fruit of some interesting political and religious juxtapositions.

That you will have to research for yourself, but rest in the knowledge that you now have the soundtrack for that event through this new single, one with some sublime interchanges on guitar, and some extremely creative multi-instrumental moments of magic, this makes Stiklestad by Ask Askr not only one to watch, but an incredibly exciting new immersive instrumental single to thoroughly enjoy.


Friday, January 26, 2024

A Warrior's Love By Adelynn Shan Lee

 


A Warrior's Love

By

Adelynn Shan Lee

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

There is always time for a haunting reverie, a moment of flute magic, a tonal vibration of great quality and tenderness, all of this and more can be found on this beautiful new single by Adelynn Shan Lee entitled A Warriors Love, this remarkable new single also captures the essence of a rain storm to perfection, something, and that trust me on this, that is not easy to get right.

Adelynn’s flute is mysterious and ethereal and reminds me of the style of flute that was so haunting in the ‘90’s from the UK’s Nigel Shaw. Here the performer can literally be seen in the mind’s eye performing this piece in the depth of a misty forest, and tones and cries from the flute drift across the boundaries of both time and tide.

Adelynn Shan Lee maybe a new name to me personally, but I have a feeling that this flute performer will be one that will be a main stay on broadcasts for weeks to come, the lingering and evocative notes that float from her flute are at times transcendent and moving, and as such I see this song being a big hit on the charts, and a much loved composition with flute fans all over our beautiful globe.


Thursday, January 25, 2024

Respite: Music For Healing By Fred Grenot

 


Respite: Music For Healing

By

Fred Grenot

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Since Fred Grenot’s return to the new age music scene we have witnessed what may be the rebirth of the much loved music genre, Fred’s works have so far been absolutely splendid, deeply calming and beautifully produced, and it is within his work that we musically ramble today, and through the medium of an album called Respite: Music For Healing.

The opening piece is one of the most soothing musical narratives that Fred has ever published, and the crafted use of pause to elevate the tone and timbre on the opening piece called Unearthing is nothing more than genius, on an opening composition that sets the scene perfectly for a wondrously cathartic journey.

The following arrangement of great clarity and comfort is entitled Oubaitori, a Japanese word that loosely encourages individuals to embrace their own individuality and uniqueness. Fred’s performance on synths and keyboards does just that and much more, in a tranquil composition of blissful serenity.

The illustrious title track is now upon us in Respite, an early chord change within this piece sets a wonderfully fluent vista of sound and peace, the elevation of tone here is simply idyllic and utterly beautiful, this is some of the finest synth work I have heard in this style of music since the days of Steven Halpern or Liquid Mind, if you love those two, you will adore this.

There is a slight shift on this next piece that is very illuminating, the track is called Loved Ones Remembered, there is an energy in this composition that reminded me of ambient artist Laraaji and his Day of Radiance album, but within this track there is also a deeper level touched that has a certain Eno quality to its construction that makes it so very addictive to listen to, and to allow the music to wash over oneself.

We now take a tentative step into the latter half of the album and as we do so we come across a piece entitled Universe Unknown. Fred does indeed manifest a vast composition here that simply floats like a stellar nursery through the outer reaches of the musical galaxy. The synth and keyboard performance here has a duality about its construction that I adore, acknowledging the openness of the universe, whilst retaining a carefully constructed sense of mystery within the piece too.

This nine track album of ultra-healing properties now takes us on another course, this time to an offering called Katharsis. Never a better title has been given to a track that delivers so much healing and serenity, the deep tones of this specific piece would easily be the point when a listener would arrive at the portal of both release and healing, this piece alone is deeply touching by itself.

Omoiyari is our next sonic bath of delight and this is another Japanese word, but meaning sympathy and empathy, something we all should have in a balanced way, here Fred’s construction of this piece is like receiving permission to just close ones eyes relax and let go, and the keyboards and synths of the artist creates the perfect canvas with which to do just that.

The last but one creation is like a musical warm bath in a room illuminated by candles, the title is Chrysalis and perhaps alludes to our opportunity to break free from our self-imposed shell that protects us from hurt, and blossom into something far greater. The slow tempo here is amazing, the decrease in energy is artistically manifested to allow the listener to take the lead role and make the change to a track of dream like proportions.

We now conclude this journey with the artist and his brand new album with the final offering entitled At Ease. This is exactly what we are at this last juncture, this is the ultimate piece of the healing jigsaw, Grenot’s masterful ability to once more slow things down is utterly sublime, and once again the listener can be allowed to slowly awaken and feel a sense of total calm and peace.

Respite: Music For Healing by Fred Grenot is without doubt the best healing styled album I have heard for simply ages. The magic that the musician creates with his keyboards and synths is nothing short of miraculous; I would very much doubt there is a single listener in the world who would still feel stressed after listening to this new release of Fred’s, and as such I am more than willing to bet this is the start of something new and massive in the new age industry for Fred Grenot and through the medium of this incredible album Respite: Music For Healing it all starts, massive chart placements, and awards are simply sure to follow, but most of all, anyone who listens to this album has the opportunity to let go, enjoy and revel in some of the best synth, keyboard based new age music you are likely to have heard for absolutely decades.


Emigrate by Russ McRee

 


Emigrate

By

Russ McRee

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

A new name heads my way with this brand new single entitled Emigrate by guitarist Russ McRee, in an exciting new composition which has a wonderfully cogent and fluent sense of multi-instrumentalism and artistry contained within. Russ on guitar makes magic, as his fast paced arrangement flows like a summer tide across the landscapes of a new land of musical colour.

The added percussion and keyboards gave the guitar based piece extra layers of musical dimensions that had passion, power and a slight intensity into the mix also, this is a song that will generate a level of excitement and anticipation, and the whole ethos and energy of the single reminds me of when I emigrated back in 2014 to my new country of Cyprus, the sense of a new journey in a new life is palpable within the constraints of this classy composition.

Emigrate by Russ McRee is an up-tempo instrumental guitar based offering of great quality, with certain sun kissed continental flavours whipped into a mix of fervent fun and excitement, this is indeed a stylish new creation by the artist, one that I think should do extremely well in the charts, and also within the hearts and minds of the enthusiastic listener.