Tuesday, January 31, 2023

What'll I Do By Rick Sparks


What'll I Do


Rick Sparks

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This is one of those moments that you never want to end, I remembered this old Irving Berlin classic from 1923 What'll I Do, and specifically a version sung so beautifully by Julie London in 1956, so my wife and I took a few moments out to sing a few bars, it was indeed a most treasured and twinkling life segment.

This version by Rick is special, he has taken an absolute classic and manifested into the universe, a wonderfully warm instrumental version in only the way Rick Sparks can do, with gentle flowing keyboards, ethereal choirs and serene and tranquil keyboards; if this song isn’t a massive hit in the charts there is not justice in the world, Sparks can take a tune and elevate its heart and soul like no other, this is the best 5 minutes I have spent for a long while.

Egyptian Halo By James Asher


Egyptian Halo


James Asher

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The name James Asher is a very well-known name in the so called New Age music industry, my musical relationship with his releases came back in 1989 with the album The Great Wheel, this multi-talented drummer and pianist has since gone on to manifest one hit after another in both singles and album creations over the years ahead.

Here on this brand new offering entitled Egyptian Halo, I do believe he has captured his best work within this decade thus far, the deep rich tones, the all-encompassing bass rhythm, and the sensual and fluent percussion are incredibly attractive and appealing, added to that the vocalisations and a sumptuous mysterious vibe, all bodes well for this new release to go on to manifest a huge chart hit for the artist and so it should be.

Brindavan By Devan Ekambaram




Devan Ekambaram

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It was incredibly nice to reconnect with the music of Devan Ekambaram once again, and through the medium of his latest album Brindavan, I remember all too well his outstanding single A Walk through Brindavan from 2021, so to be presented with a whole album is a pure treat.

The opening track is the wonderfully fluent and charming title header, the former single A Walk through Brindavan, this brings a blissful sun kissed moment of this most picturesque of places in India, my research revealed stunning landscapes and views, so look for yourself and listen to this at the same time, also featured on this piece are the talents of both Nel Bucktowar& Vijay Gopal.

The title of this next track is something I wish for all and entitled Let There Be Peace. This up-tempo driving song is a breath taking reverie of utter class, and contains the skill sets of both Vijay Gopal & Prakash Sontakke. The western influences here are so colourful and match the vibrations from its original eastern essences to perfection.

A storm moves us to this next track, the delicacy of production here is simply something special to enjoy, here is cross genre music, if you would ever call one so, a mix of smooth jazz, light funk and world music, all go into making I Need You Now, one of the most moving and imploring tracks off the album. Nel Bucktowar& Taylor Eigsti lend their skills to this quite incredible offering, and the piano here is utterly outstanding.

Aaraadha is a track that exposes us to the beauty of the voice that is Mahalakshmi Iyer. A gentle jazzy world vibe flows across us like a warm wind from the eastern islands and gifts us a song that is so sweet and so wonderfully attractive.

At this juncture we now find ourselves at the half way marker of the album, here lays one of my favourite pieces from the release entitled Missing You, the very smoothness of this song is so blissfully graceful and textured. Mahathi & Nel Bucktowar feature on this particular track, which is an intricate weave of a piece that contains delightful vocals and a very classy multi-instrumental production.

Now let’s change up a gear and raise the rhythms with a sparkling musical reverie entitled Jerry. Ekambaram has really brought that almost rocky soul vibe to this fantastic song, one that contains the crafts of both Rick Brunermer & Nel Bucktowar on the track. The guitar from this fast paced offering then leads us with a delicate hand into the deeper well of the album, and a composition entitled Thrumagal.

This would be another personal favourite of mine, that smooth vibe is back on a track that could easily make its mark in the chill out genre all on its own right. Thrumagal is a fascinating track, one with a wonderfully delicious light funky feel and the solo on Sax from Rick Brunermer was simply outstanding too.

We are now running down that hill towards the conclusion of the album, but before we get to that point we are gifted a sublime offering from the artist entitled Latin Masala, a full on Latin styled jazz offering, and we must also praise the skills of both Daniel Minimalia & Punya Srinivas for their genius during this arrangement, the acoustic guitar from the first ever winner of the Latin Grammys was utterly picturesque, and the juxtaposition with the Veena of Punya Srinivas doubly so.

We even get time for a little more of Thrumagal a classy Reprise one that features Rick Brunermer & Danwen Jiang, her violin added a whole well of emotion into the proceedings, which would lead us to the next song with ease with the concluding offering A Little Fun In Naatai. One simply has to say what an inspired way with which to close the album out, one thing we must say about Devan is, he certainly knows what’s needed and when its required, and adding D.A. Srinivas & Arun Ramamurthi into the mix was a spot of sheer genius.

Brindavan by Devan Ekambaram was eagerly anticipated and it has lived up to and beyond its expectations, here is an album that contains sublime methodology, crafted production and arrangements, and a whole raft of talented musicians to manifest one of the most appealing cross genre albums of the last few years.  If you like your music to contain a little global vibe, a layer of very smooth jazz, performed by top notch musicians, then you need to look no further than Brindavan by Devan Ekambaram

Magic Bird By Victor Birkan


Magic Bird


Victor Birkan

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The fluency of pianist Victor Birkan is something to be treasured and admired, and here on his latest single he continues that artistic theme with his latest release Magic Bird. Utilising the felt piano to draw a mysterious narrative, Birkan paints a short form picture of a mysterious feathered creature.

Birkan’s performances are always a delight to behold, and once more the master builder of solo piano compositions has brought into the world, a composition that will intrigue the audience, one that will be riveted by its magical storytelling and its suspense filled arrangement.

Worlds Beyond By David De Michele


Worlds Beyond


David De Michele

Written by

Steve Sheppard


David De Michele is the star man of electronic music, he is our galactic voyager of sublime tunes, and our cosmic traveller of ambience personified. Here on his new album Worlds Beyond, his journey is somewhat different, instead of travelling through space itself, we now shuttle from one world to another, a sojourn that is all to delectable to miss out on.

The album cover is also remarkable and reminded me in part of the Dilithium cracking world on Star Trek. The opening foray of tone and splendour revealed an outstanding offering, its ethereal vocalisations and swirling synths allowed us to traverse time and space at a whim, and of course I am refereeing to the title track itself Worlds Beyond.

I have now listened to this album twice in full and each time I do so I notice more and more, as we arrive at Starchild we find a track that simply hovers with an almost mystical delight, the softness of the synths here is palpable and deliciously moody, whilst the ever onward motif of music and modulation is akin to a more tranquil version of Berlin styled electronica.

Expedition Blue is our next layover, this is a more up tempo creation from the artist, I adored the level of expectancy within this piece, within the arrangement one could feel a sense of excitement and expectation that was glorious. The driving synth patterns allowed for a softer transposition which was decidedly clever in construction.

I once remember an old friend of mine in Phil Thornton, create a song about the Mothership and here David does something similar in the manifestation of this next offering entitled Return of the Mothership. There is a blissful sensitivity and almost angelic touch to this track that makes it so moving and colourful, it is as if we are watching the sky, and in the far distance we can see our ship returning home, that sense of reconnection is well crafted by the artist.

Release docking clamps, engage inertial dampeners, and move ahead at impulse speed Ensign, this command could easily be uttered by our ships commander as we attempt to reach Escape Velocity. One has to really applaud De Michele’s skill here, in yet once again, capturing a sense of excitement and anticipation in the arrangement, but this time, add to that a sense of trepidation, and then peaceful calm once the velocity has been reached. This is a master class in music composition by the artist, and crafted touch of electronic wizardry too.

This deep seated piece would turn out to be one of my personal favourites and called Alien World Sunrise, it is becoming very evident here that David’s style is fast becoming one that will one day see him as a visionary in the world of ambient space music. The build and progression here is exactly like a sunrise, but imagine transposing that onto your first view of one on a completely alien world, the musician has captured this segment in life perfectly.

The penultimate offering off the album is entitled Visions of Distant Worlds and here Michele brings his A game, this style reminds me of a mixture of many who have gone before, the swirling synth pads of Kendle and Serrie, the vocalisation ambience of Al Gromer Khan and the soundtrack standard and elevations of Vangelis, a special moment reveals itself here, one not to be missed.

Indigo Blue Horizon is without doubt one of the most artistic tracks off the album, its serene synths manifest an oasis of calm and peace, and perhaps hints of journeys yet to come, once more David brings a mood of a mystical nature into the weave, even a reality of determination as well, and whilst doing so concludes the album, leaving us wanting more and more.

Worlds Beyond by David De Michele can be summed up in just one word, class! But we’re not going to stop there, because he has gifted us the next level of his adventures as a musician, this collection of sublime creations allows us to travel sonically in a more inter dimensional way, the album itself is like watching waves on the ocean fold back into themselves to recreate the same moment, but in a totally different way, this is such a blissful album I would recommend it to anyone who likes their music to actually take them somewhere.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Life Pulse By Jacquelyn G. Kleine


Life Pulse


Jacquelyn G. Kleine

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This new single from Jacquelyn had me totally enthralled, this is without doubt a classy performance on flute, but the overall energy and essence of the track in question had many depths, colours and textures, and the repeating motif in the bed of sound reminded me of the works of minimalistic composer Phillip Glass at times.

Life Pulse is just that, a vibrational creation that manifests moods of intrigue and fascinating atmospheric auras, and all in an ambient and contemporary instrumental nature, listening to this new single Life Pulse by Jacquelyn G. Kleine is like reading a really good book you just can’t put down, a top quality release from the artist.

Victory: Vakratunda By Sarves Thiru


Victory: Vakratunda


Sarves Thiru

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The gentle loving tones of this new single by Sarves Thiru wash over you with a rich sublime beauty; this new composition is called Victory: Vakratunda. This one is fascinating, Ganesha's first incarnation was as Vakratunda meaning curved trunk, and I literally have a statue of him in our studio, and the great remover of blocks and obstacles has certainly proved a wonderfully ally over the years with regard to that.

This new single from Sarves is utterly delightful; it’s beautifully colourful, and rich in its tones and vibrations, the slow, but sensitive repeating mantra is partnered by a formidable but respectful multi-instrumental backdrop, one that is birthed in the world and global music genres, a heartfelt new offering indeed and a single that surely must be chart bound.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Finding My Way By Lisa Swerdlow


Finding My Way


Lisa Swerdlow

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It is always a pleasure when you believe you have listened to something that ticks all the right boxes, and is probably the best creation manifested by an artist to date, and through the pen, performance and presentation of Lisa Swerdlow and her new single Finding My Way, I believe I have touched that hallowed ground.

The multi-instrumental nature of her new single is by far some of the best I have heard in the genre, this is a new arrangement that has everything, a moody refrain, a little Jazz ethic, a multi-cultural flavour, and potential movie soundtrack in the making, it is also reflective, melodic and inspiring! And above all that, there is a performance on the piano that is beyond outstanding.

I believe that Swerdlow has created the perfect single here, there is also nothing quite like a little trumpet in the middle of January, to add that wonderful mournful quality to a piece, this one has to be a sure fire hit with great ease, if there is any justice in this world.

The Album Show ft David J. Peña and his album The Journey


The Journey


David J. Peña

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The mood filled opuses of David J. Peña are truly something to behold, it is a rare musical commodity to have, that wonderful ability to paint with music and to do so with such emotion and power. David J. Peña is a master of his craft and his latest album The Journey is a veritable art gallery of tone, splendour and passion.

His opening foray entitled The Sun Will Rise Again has to be one of the most inspiring and uplifting piano creations I have heard this year, we all need a little lift now and then, and this song should be an anthem for those moments, his performance on piano is nothing more than a sparkling pastiche of sublime genius, and simply the perfect way with which to start the album.

Kaleidoscope is our next port of call and we have yet another full flowing manifestation to enjoy here, the symphonic back drop in a majority of the artists’ works are perfection; here on this piece he brings into the world a musical narrative that is both memorable and tender, and that little extra percussive energy just elevated the composition even further.

This next piece is a beautiful dedication and called Tribute to W. Tx Pianist Doug Smith. There is a gentle energy that runs through this piece that makes it so very attractive, this is one of those arrangements that whilst moving in its manifestation, is also fairly anthem like in its overall construction.

One of the most emotional tracks on this blissful new release is the following composition entitled You Took My Heart With You, this has many elements within its creation, but the melody that runs through this song is one of the most emotive I have heard for a while, the artist pulls this piece from the deepest labyrinths of his heart, and for some reason at times it also reminds me of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, this is simply a composition of sublime quality, soundtrack music with ease.

This classy album is a 10 track compilation of brilliance and nestled at the midway point is the title header itself. The Journey proposes many questions, as we each have our own journey’s to take, but somehow Peña seems to have created a soundtrack for each and every one of them. I found this piece to be incredibly personal, very powerful and incredibly inspiring.

The curiously entitled Eerie Night is now upon us, the dark days of winter have now fallen and storms rage outside my window, and yes, I have just set the scene for this track in my world. The performance is grand, but deeply mysterious, and the fluency of this creation simply draws me into a realm of perhaps a Poe styled reality, “Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door, quoth the Raven Nevermore."

Now by complete contrast we move to a wonderfully upbeat and vibrant track entitled Good Feeling, and this song truly manifests that mood with a sumptuous ease, the elevated performance builds an energy of positivity around us, and this driving ever onward piano narrative with its added orchestration, is just the musical cure to blow away those previously aforementioned winter blues.

From my earliest memories, I have always liked to gaze upwards into the night sky in great and grateful wonderment at the view, here on Stargazing the artist brings one of his most colourful creations to our musical table, just listen to the delicacy of performance, the fluency of composition, and the overwhelming sense of joy contained within, this for me has to be one of Peña’s best creations thus far, there is so much within this arrangement, it would be advisable to take a multitude of listens to it, just to enjoy each and every nuance.

The light and crisp presentation on the track New Beginnings, whilst listening, I could see the first few buds of spring poke their heads above the layers of a receding snowline, this creation has many levels in it, and also many moods to, the gentleness retains its centre point, but juxtaposes brilliantly with the more powerful segments, in what must be Peña’s most creative work thus far.

The release is concluded with a fine manifestation called Breakout, a song that in its initial stages, you will find yourself literally waiting for it to explode, and being the ever masterful creator of sublime piano works, David J. Peña gives you that moment, but in a measured and climatic way, with just the right amount of build progression and crescendo. At just over the half way mark there is no returning, and the artist brings you a driving rock ballad to finish the project with, in a way that even Elton John would have been proud of.

The Journey by David J. Peña in my view is the best work of the artist thus far, David has given us everything here, mind, body and soul, he has touched the sensitive nature of our hearts, raised our heads for a better day with a beautiful energy of inspiration, intrigued us with a moment of mystery, and completely rocked it up to conclude what is an outstanding release, how can anyone not have an album this good in their collections, it’s a must have at all costs.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Together Again By Matias Bacoñsky


Together Again


Matias Bacoñsky

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Matias Bacoñsky has been on my musical radar ever since the release of Life And Death back in 2016, and never has he failed to impress me with his illustrious works of art, and his stylish grand soundscapes since that day.

Here today the artist reveals his latest grand opus, and it is a wonderfully breath taking ride entitled Together Again, a crescendo filled powerful cinematic offering, one that could well illustrate the reuniting of two star-crossed lovers again, and wonderfully bathed in the symbiosis of loves true call.

Matias Bacoñsky is in full flow on this new creation, but one that builds beautifully, and allows the sensitive nature of his performance to flow naturally into the more robust passages, this is a fine example of Bacoñsky’s work, and surely a big hit on the charts must be the outcome for this new single from the artist, which is from an album to be released later this year.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Shadows and Shades By James Michael Stevens


Shadows and Shades


James Michael Stevens

Written by

Steve Sheppard


James must be one of the most prolific pianists around today, his muse is in full flow here again as we take a look at the artists latest release Shadows and Shades, the quality of light and the reflective mood from it is always a fantastic subject matter to create art with music from, and on this splendid release from James, he does it great justice indeed.

James Michael Stevens has a deft and sensitive touch on the keys; the opening piece on the album is a fine example and called Borealis, the gentle crafted nature of this opening piece is wonderfully picturesque; this is something that can be said about every track on this new album too, as we move through one story to another.

Tracks like Hour Glass and Theme from an Early Morning are but two that created some amazing imagery in my mind, the ever onward motion of the aforementioned composition was incredibly addictive, whilst the laid back easy like Sunday morning feeling of the latter, was simply sublime.

As we move ever onward we find tracks like the meditative Lost in a Moment, a slice of ambient magic, and then that newly found peace leads us to a musical sanctuary in the form of Where Peace Is Found, two beautiful tracks with a different structure to them both.

Shadows and Shades is an album that you can just drift off to and rest a while in its magical reveries, the penultimate offering from the album did that very thing for me, and is called Twilight Meditation, a track that for me was my personal favourite, but I have always been a fan of that mystical interplay with minor and major, the artist then concludes the album with a delicate offering entitled When Night Has Fallen, a song that one would not be surprised to find in a love segment of a movie one day.

Shadows and Shades by James Michael Stevens is a calming creation of totally quality solo piano work, the artist has been in full flow for a few years now, and is manifesting some fantastic material for us all, and its very pleasing to say that this album now adds to that catalogue of brilliance with great ease and sublime skill, this is solo piano at its very best.

Behind The Veil By Spencer Brewer


Behind The Veil


Spencer Brewer

Written by

Steve Sheppard


When one examines the passing of time, we can truly appreciate the journey that we have taken within our lives, Spencer Brewer is a prime example of that aforementioned statement, as Behind The Veil by the artist was the first release from the musician for some 14 years, and one has to say well worth waiting for. I would also be in rapture here, as this album would contain one of the finest examples of solo piano I have heard this century with ease, but more on that later.

Behind the Veil is one of the most beautifully fluent albums I have had the pleasure to listen to for years, it contains a myriad of brilliant supporting artists as well, all of whom I hope to mention later on, from the first footfalls of Parasols In Paris, where one can skim across the dance floor of tone and ambience, and then into the blissful refrains of And So It Goes..., a track so majestically played and performed.

Portraits is a sun kissed creation that drifts from Brewers keys and straight into the hearts of the ever grateful listener, this would also be one of many favourites for me personally, the build and progression here is simply sublime and flows into the river of calm known now as Myths And Legends, a manifestation of brilliance that has a wonderful mystical vibe to its overall creation, and a little Celtic lilt as well.

The joyous conversation of charm can be heard on this next offering entitled Together We Make One, the multi instrumentational nature on this song was delightful, positive and empowering, the energetic overall textures from this happy reverie were just what I needed on this gloomy January day.

As we arrive at the half way juncture we are gifted a piece with an upbeat tempo called Legend of Rene Anguiano, this is a classy full flowing musical narrative with a little pertinent Spanish flavour built into the weave of the arrangement, one that creatively landed us in the lap of the deep and fascinating title track Behind The Veil.

I adore title tracks, it’s that moment we can truly see, what’s literally behind the veil of the entire project, this has to be the most artistic endeavour on the release and takes us on a whole host of moving sojourns through its 4 minutes plus in duration, leaving us in the knowledge that we have experienced a moving, emotive, yet colourful and textured creation that touches the heart mind and souls of us all who give into this moment.

Eden has a crisp quality to its manifestation that is simply addictive to listen to, it’s a track with a goal in mind, a composition that guides the way to a land of colour, peace and musical tranquillity, while Brewer made my wife’s day by bringing one of the most amazing arrangements of a Jazz classic to the table with Summertime, a song she sings, and a track that I adore, Brewer manifests a mood here on this piece that is as hot and steamy as a late august night.

We swim into the deeper waters of the album now, and as we reach the safety of the bankside we come across a song that contains a melodic structure that builds us up and relaxes us into a moment of total bliss and called Remember When, this reverie drifts across the mirrored pools of delight, and into the open arms of the penultimate piece entitled Where We Used To Play, a memory palace of an arrangement, where only happy moments are allowed, and a sense of gratitude of our experiences, this is classic new age piano from the master.

So, I know you have been waiting patiently for that opening statement of greatness to come to fruition, and here it is, the final construct, the ending moment of genius, the conclusion of class, as I rate Walls That Move as my personal favourite piano track thus far of this century, this has it all for me, a sense of ambience, a deep well of reflection, and an emotional construct that I could, and will play forever more, what a stunning way with which to conclude what in my opinion is a totally superb album, 14 years in the waiting, but each and every second has been more than worth it.

Behind the Veil by Spencer Brewer is a compilation of experience, artistic endeavour and utter class all rolled into one very beautiful album, a big hat’s off must also go to Nancy Rumble, Paul McCandless, Jeremy Cohen, Joseph Christianson, Chad Catlinger and Andre’s Vera, all have lent their valuable skill sets to this simply splendid project. Behind the Veil by Spencer Brewer is an album that will find its way to the top shelf marked masterful, and will live forever more in the hearts of the most discerning of listeners, as being one of the most idyllic and lyrical manifestations of music they have ever enjoyed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Aurora By Kirsten Agresta Copely




Kirsten Agresta Copely

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There can be no doubt that the fluency and ambience of the Harp of Kirsten Agresta Copley shines brightly in the world of contemporary music, we are therefore very grateful to see this brand new single released by the artist called Aurora.

Her performance here is indeed something quite radiant and bliss-filled, with each note the artist draws an image of the subject matter with great skill, and it has to be said a good deal of tenderness too.

The soft palate of tone created by Kirsten it wonderfully palpable, this is music that floats around you and literally caresses your senses as it plays, never has the harp sounded so good, and this manifestation of beauty and calm should drift on the ambient winds of ever more with sublime ease and tranquility.

The Little Things By The Song Gardeners


The Little Things


The Song Gardeners

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Mary Gospe and Corrie Dunn are back as The Song Gardeners, and as you may well expect, another outstanding new age song from one of the top bands in the genre is before us. Dunn’s lyrical pen has worked wonders on this new gift The Little Things, it brings us back to what really matters in life, and reminds us to be grateful for them.

The Song Gardener’s are a prolific band, and here on this new single I truly believe they have given us a gentle loving reminder that the bigger picture isn’t the only thing that matters.

Musically its perfect, a wonderful production and presentation, Dunn’s vocals are so very harmonious and touching, her symbiotic partnership with Gospe is nothing more than genius in motion, it has to be said also, that hats off must also go to both James Butler: piano, bass and drums, and David Scheibner: guitars and synth, their additions make this classy song even more appealing, and I am now left wondering, if this a future number one single I’m listening to, I think so, why not make it yours too.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Out of Doors: Meditations for Piano and Nature By Bodhiheart


Out of Doors: Meditations for Piano and Nature



Written by

Steve Sheppard


January has been an exceptional month for me as a music writer, I have come across some amazing albums already, the works of Wells Hanley and Matt Wyatt as Bodhiheart can now join that illustrious listing, with their simply outstanding 12 track mixture of field recordings and piano, now known to us all as Out of Doors: Meditations for Piano and Nature.

This is one of those albums you really need to dedicate time to, purely because it deserves it, from the opening piece Departure, to the concluding opus of Other Worlds. Each and every track on the album is simply delicious, and compositions like the soothing musical narrative of First Signs of Spring, is but one of a plethora of fine examples of natural ambience.

As a listener who craves meditative moments in music, this album is like a late Christmas present to me, and pieces like Migration and Midnight (The Moon) speak to the inner Buddha Nature that resides within us all somewhere, both tracks are played with such a level of sensitivity and care and indeed, tenderness.

Offerings like Ocean, Sand, Skin and the penultimate track off the album Summer Storm are two perfect instances of excellence, one could with ease, let go of the day and allow the recordings to literally take you to that moment, both of these are very relevant for me personally as were heading for a storm and I live by the coast, the field recordings here and on this entire album, it has to be said, are some of the finest I have ever heard.

We can leave with a long form creation called Other Worlds, this piece just adds to the serenity of the moment, however there is an exciting hint of a mysterious nature built into this concluding offering, perhaps a hint of what maybe to come!

Out of Doors: Meditations for Piano and Nature by Bodhiheart is an album that you just cannot help but adore, this is one of my favourite styles of release, ambient, meditative and laid gently in the arms of mother nature herself, a sure fire winner here with ease, and one that I would be proud to recommend to make your sanctuary of the soul, just that little bit more real.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

La Valle Delle Farfalle by Daniela Spadini


La Valle Delle Farfalle


Daniela Spadini

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The sensitivity of any good piano performance is the tenderness between artist and the keys, that symbiotic presentation that flows from the mind to the heart, and down to the keys. Here on this new single, La Valle Delle Farfalle by Daniela Spadini, the music gently flutters down into a calming oasis of natural tranquillity.

Daniela Spadini has manifested a creation on felt piano here that is both unique and crafted, her performance is as warm as an early spring day, and the textured colours that drift across our musical horizons, show us just what a blissfully bright artistic endeavour this new single truly is.

Native Flute Journeys 3 By Sandi Horton


Native Flute Journeys 3


Sandi Horton

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Flute composer Sandie Horton presents to us a brand new release entitled Native Flute Journeys 3, and in doing so has crafted one of the finest examples of solo flute I have heard of some years, each piece created on different scales and styles of flute, this for me is fascinating as I haven’t seen this manifested so well since Nigel Shaw’s Dartmoor Roundhouse back in the early part of this century.

Each composition has a story of its own, with its own intent and energy and its own mood and dimension of tone, this for me is special and almost meditative at times, tracks like the opening piece A Song To Mother Earth, a Yellow Cedar low flute began this voyage of calm for me, in a world of a solo experience that was so very contemplative.

This 12 track album is a blissful home of peace and serenity, emphasised perfectly by tracks like Twenty-Five Pelicans (Zebra Wood Flute) and Medicine Park Hymn, (Buried Camphor) a piece that I found particularly moving as it reminded me of my time in Oklahoma, but just over 200 miles from the location of this composition in Ponca City, but that respectful, beautiful and harmonic Native resonance was still there.

There is so much on this crafted album to enjoy, for me, songs and manifestations about the silver energy of the night orb above us is always going to be a winner, as Full Moon found a place in my heart with great ease, using a Curly Maple flute, Horton manifests magic of the night in her creation.

The lightness of pieces like the penultimate offering on I'm Glad She Found Me (Madrone Wood) lighten the mood, whilst the album is beautifully concluded by the final offering entitled The Moon Comes Out and on a wonderful Bass flute made from Yellow Cedar. Such tranquillity floats across the mind’s eye and leaves us in no doubt that we have heard a truly sublime, intelligently created, and lovingly manifested collection of impressive solo flute tracks.

Native Flute Journeys 3 by Sandi Horton continues the artist’s progression and her personal journey through the realms of flute, and her spiritual connection to it, this is a personal journey filled with love, honesty, tenderness and all created with a humble heart felt approach, and as such is without doubt an album I would completely recommend to anyone seeking sanctuary in the arms of flute music. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Clouds Below By 2002


Clouds Below



Written by

Steve Sheppard


The legacy of new ages leading band 2002 continues on with this brand new release entitled Clouds Below, the band have gone back to their roots for this fascinating and quite beautiful collection of songs, and it with the greatest pleasure to sojourn with them for the next 10 tracks of utter joy.

Our opening gambit is the classic Soulmate, a sumptuous full of flavour track that literally takes one on a journey of souls, a light energy transports the listener to a heavenly realm, as we almost take a journey to there to meet our soulmate, if ever a piece of music could be described as new age, this is it, beautiful flute, flowing piano, gentle strings, it’s simply transcendent in all of its manifestations.

The soft styled creative piano on Glimmering Hope softly takes us by the hand and leads us onward towards a dimension of open possibilities. The melody here was so very beautiful, and the soft orchestral movement equally so, then a most illuminating and breath taking beautiful moment with the violin dropped into our laps from the stunning KeyReel Razkolenko, the performance and its calming fluency was literally idyllic.

Landing is one of three singles that 2002 had released during 2022, and all may I add were incredibly successful for them, this one specifically has an almost haunting reverie to its manifestation, its emotive refrains pull the listener into a world of tranquillity. There is a wonderful proud and powerful sense to this track that give us that delicious special moment when the hairs stand up on your arms, on this deliciously measured, but incredibly ambient offering.

This next song though is something truly special, I had the pleasure many years ago of watching the movie Bladerunner and listening to Loves Theme from Vangelis, City Blue has such a familiar tone and flow to it, and reminds me of that great creation completely, here 2002 allow us to drift around the city one last time in the early hours of the morning, this in my view is a masterful composition, and one that I keep finding myself coming back to time after time, ah that sensual jazzy motif, and just a little more of Ryan McCulogh on Saxophone please.

As we reach the mid-way marker the harp greets our arrival with glee, the softness and sensitive cadence on First Light of Dawn was amazing, the slight Celtic influence also created another level of class for us to enjoy, this is one of those blissful, feel good tracks that one can simply not do without.

A tentative step into the second half of the album will have us passing the doorway marked The Flight Home, this is classic 2002, those flowing chords, drifting harmonies and vocalisations, and the soft but up lifting crescendos, all go to make an arrangement that is as gentle and as a soft bed of angel feathers to lay upon.

The 3rd single I eluded to earlier is this very song, and entitled Clouds Below, for me, this is probably the most ambient creation ever brought into existence by 2002, this is a sublime piece, a work of moving art, the spaces within this song to explore and just float are something truly special, one with ease could literally just be drifting on the thermals way above the clouds on the wings of an eagle with this piece.

We are now moving into the deeper waters of the album and as we do so we are greeted by a song blowing across the mind, that musical manifestation is called Air and Light, this is an atmospheric moment of sheer bliss and harmonic brilliance, the different layers and depths within this crafted opus are sheer genius.

However the penultimate track off the album entitled Riding the Current would be one of my personal favourites from the release, containing a light percussive element, and the creative and deeply attractive build and progression, Randy Copus on guitar here also produces some of the most tender tones of his career, in a track that has an intelligent depth and flow to its construction.

We end this bliss-filled journey with a track that calms the mood and relaxes the senses and entitled Everyday Miracles. Harp never sounded better and that Celtic lilt at the end of this album just makes the moment even more special, this concluding track is almost a lullaby in composition, and being so, is simply the perfect way to end the release, let’s not also forget the beautiful work on violin by James Song, this added a perfect bed of pleasure with which to drift off to.

Clouds Below by 2002 is the band back to their instrumental roots, it’s a delicate album that is bathed in lush colourful tones, yet its overall cadence is simply transcendent and serene. Clouds Below by 2002 is a 10 track collection of musical art, that every new age fan must at all costs have in their collection, and as soon as possible, as this new release is one of the finest examples of truly good new age music that I have heard for many a year.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Your Path By Andrea Sertori


Your Path


Andrea Sertori

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This brand new single has to be in my view one of the best thus far released by pianist Andrea Sertori; it is called Your Path and has one of the warmest compositional structures you’re likely to hear on the keys.

I gazed at the idyllic art work for the single whilst listening to the piece for the first three plays, its perfection, as is the artist’s magical interplay from happiness to a more reflective energy; it’s wonderfully fluent and magical.

Andrea Sertori has manifested many singles over this past year alone, but I believe that this may well be my favourite, at times his style on this piece reminds me of early Annie Locke, and he has captured that heart felt, feel good energy within the compositional structure with ease, simply beautiful indeed, and should be a big hit.

Gentle Breeze By Crystal Ramirez


Gentle Breeze


Crystal Ramirez

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There is something deeply appealing about this brand new single by flute performer Crystal Ramirez, the soothing musical narrative raises the energies of the listener and takes them on a meditative journey with ease.

Gentle Breeze is a crisp yet textured creation, one that I have now listened to five times in a row; I adore the ambience it manifests, and one could easily be alone in nature listening to this piece, as a warm gentle breeze drifts across your face.

Crystal Ramirez has brought into this world a wonderfully peace-filled arrangement; her flute performance is much like the composition itself, totally idyllic. 

Movin On By Evan Carydakis


Movin On


Evan Carydakis

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It’s always a great pick-me-up for the day to hear a really classy slice of smooth jazz, and without doubt that title of sublime brilliance can be laid at the musical feet of Evan Carydakis and his latest single Movin On.

The whole mood and vibration of the track, is a constantly forward moving opus of truly stunning Sax, and a marvellous manifestation of a multi-instrumental nature.

The quality of the performance and production of this new single is utterly top notch, and something very easy to spin multiple times, Carydakis and team created something here so very sweet on the ears, big hats off also to Michael Whittaker on Keyboards Patrick Yandall on Guitar, on this, combination of cool.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Moments of Clarity by Ryan Judd


Moments of Clarity

By Ryan Judd

Written by

Chrissie Sheppard


The finger style guitar of Ryan Judd is now upon us with his latest single entitled Moments of Clarity.

This is just what we have come to expect from the musician, a pristine performance, played with so much feeling, it will touch you deep within and may even bring you a moment of clarity too if you just sit and allow the music to flow over and through you.

Another great arrangement from the artist, one that will be enjoyed by all and should do well in the charts too. Judd is a guitarist that has such a depth of skill and passion, it is so obvious that he is deeply in touch with his musical muse in a new single that should guide you into a blissful river of calm.

Trance‘n’dance By Ian Cameron Smith



By Ian Cameron Smith

Written by

Chrissie Sheppard


The latest single to come our way from Ian Cameron Smith is an upbeat number that crosses genres, with its slight dance yet chilled vibes, it’s called Trance’n’dance and is so different from what I have come to expect from him musically.

I really enjoyed this musical sojourn with this new arrangement taking the lead, as it led me down new avenues with the artist to explore a different side to the musician. There is so much within this composition, that I would suggest taking several listens to ensure you capture each and every nuance.

I think this new release will appeal to most people, as its catchy melody takes you by the hand and leads you onward into a world of blissful fluency.