September 2, 2015

New Age Instrumental Review: Peter Phippen and David Roll-Unearthed

Release Date: May 1, 2015
Label: Promotion Music Records

Peter Phippen is a Grammy Award nominee and four time Native American Music Awards nominee. David Roll has been in the music business for at least three decades. The two have collaborated together for more than thirty five years, each with a style that melds together to craft albums full of improvisational techniques that stand out from the crowd. Unearthed is the newest release from this dynamic duo and it has been decidedly worth the wait.

Instruments included in this production are: Butch Hall Native American style flute, synthesizer, antique bamboo alto flute, antique Haitian flute, electric grand piano, Butch Hall Native American style bass flute, Early Showa period 1.7 Japanese Shakuhachi, Ken LaCosse 2.4 shakuhachi flute, Olwell bamboo flutes, Chilean clay ocarina and the Ellis fusion bansuri.

Soulful harmonies greet the listener as the opening piece “Lubbock Lullaby” awakens. The peaceful sway of a synthesizer combined with the majesty of the Butch Hall Native American style flute takes you down from the rigors of the day. It brings to mind the silent and grassy plains of Texas where solitude reaches the human spirit and lifts it toward introspection.

“Unearthed” is the second piece on the album. Electric grand piano meets antique bamboo alto flute and antique Haitian flute and the effect is primordial. Like the picturesque cover, this track takes you back to a time where things were simpler. Gentle and plodding, the harmony winds around you, luring you down the path least traveled by. Discovery of self in lives mired down by modern day responsibility and endless multi-tasking is not a small thing. It only takes a moment. The stillness. Close your eyes. Open your ears. Just listen…

“Cedar Song” is another visit from our friend the Butch Hall Native American style flute. Airy and cavernous, this simple swaying piece is a lone man playing on the edge of a cliff, singing out his humanity to the world and letting the wisps of music be carried away on the breath of the wind. The memory of trees sways behind him, but it is the open sky and what is to come that takes precedence. To delve into harmony is the breath of life. From the earth comes all things. 

“Hope Springs” is the last piece on the album. A synthesizer greets us and is soon joined by the Ellis fusion bansuri creating an ethereal piece that leaves you floating above the ground. Hovering. Waiting. Listening. This is life. A journey of beginnings and culminations. Never ending, this cycle gives and takes. Life and death. Each textured melody twists a strain of hope that meanders in the life blood of the human spirit and lends the spark of renewal. 


Peter Phippen and David Roll have crafted a magnificent album with Unearthed. Different styles meld into an album with distinct tracks, echoing with melodies and compositions to stir the introspective elements of your soul. With many unique instruments from around the world, this album is textured and well formed. It is highly recommended if you want a breath of fresh air from the frenzied pace of everyday life. I’ve found myself playing it over and over again and the album just resonates. Phippen and Roll are true artists and no collection of flute music is complete without this album.  

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Lubbock Lullaby, Unearthed, Cedar Song, Hope Springs

Tracks:
 

1.Lubbock Lullaby
2.UnEarthed
3.Equinox
4.Icy Depths
5.Fjord
6.Cedar Song
7.The One Sound
8.Hope Springs

 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
August 24, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews



August 31, 2015

Russell Suereth Releases Video Documenting Spiritual Haven Album

September 1, 2015-New York, NY-With the release of Spiritual Haven this year recording artist Russell Suereth broke new ground. Entering the world of new age and world music was big change for the former rock and pop artist. That step has brought the artist to new heights and success in the world of recordings.
 
The album features 12 diverse and moving tracks that engage the senses and allow you look inward and find yourself in another time and place. 

Russell Commented: I wanted to provide my listeners with something that would really help them see the story in the album. I had done a few radio programs about the journey inside the album, but I didn’t feel that it really hit home for my listeners.

So along those lines he decided to engage his audience and potential listeners through a video storybook.

Russell wanted to have the story narrated and felt having another voice tell the story was more appropriate. A friend suggested Steve Sheppard of One World Music and things began to take shape.

So now with the video released listeners are invited to a guided tour through what the album has to offer. In essence the video provides a holistic spiritual voyage for the listener while expanding the breadth of the new age experience. And finally, it combines the original music of the Spiritual Haven album, and the story of the journey inside, to form a creative work that is new and memorable.
 
Music, spiritual destinations, meditation and new journeys are all part of the Spiritual Haven experience and with the release of the narrated video any one appreciative of those healing practices will find enjoyment viewing the video stream.
 
Contact: Russell Suereth
Location: New York, NY

August 27, 2015

New Age Review: Wouter Kellerman-Love Language

Release Date: August 28, 2015
Label: Listen 2 Africa
Website


Wouter Kellerman is a flutist and composer that left tracks in the New Age music industry with his album Winds of Samsara, a collaboration with lndian composer and producer Ricky Kej. Winning a Grammy in 2015 for the album and multiple SAMA awards in his native South Africa, Kellerman secured his status as one of his country’s most prominent musicians. His new album Love Language brings to mind the book by Gary Chapman in which the author discusses the many ways love can be expressed. In this album, Kellerman reaches across the globe and reflects on how multiple cultures give and receive love in all of its forms. It is an electric album that captivated me from the first track. Love can be learned but most all love can be experienced.

From the first strains of “Aishwarya” to the ethereal “Shenandoah” the presence of Kellerman’s flute and world class musicians and artists brings each piece to glowing life. “Shenandoah” in particular grabbed my attention for the angelic female vocalist, the twinkling chimes and the way the song was sung. The vocalist sings of a love for the river’s daughter and that is not something you hear every day in modern music. It speaks to a love that spans the world and the rainbow that shines down over everyone who hears it. This is truly a gorgeous piece that is a fitting reflection of our time.

“Notre Futur” crackles to life with percussive elements, male vocals that scrape low and bring the listener up toward the heavens. Again, I couldn’t help but feel a kinship to this piece, with its rattles, flute, guitar and textured layers. The world music flair was persuasive and upbeat, making me want to replay the track over and over again. Rich and full, this piece was shivering with emotion and joy.

“Love Gets Old” is the last song on the album. Pensive with piano movements and flute intertwining in blissful harmony, this piece walks with you as the years go on. With each step, your loved one’s footprints follow alongside yours. Bittersweet as the strings break in, this piece has a hauntingly familiar strain that tugs at heartstrings and brings burnished memories out of mothballs from the past. The first kiss is new but the sweetest ones are the ones that grow familiar over time.

Music spanning the globe, this album shines the light on love in all of its forms. Featuring influences from Senegal, Spain, Cuba, India, The United States and Greece. Wouter Kellerman brings out music that speaks to the heart of us all. Love is universal. So is music. Each of us can wield them both but in the hands of a magician like Kellerman…he makes it look and sound easy. I highly recommend this album for a refreshing listen that will give renewed faith to the power and resilience of the human spirit and make you long for the album to never end.

5/5 Stars
Key Tracks: Shenandoah, Love Gets Old, Notre Futur

Tracks: 
01. Aishwarya
02. Winter (feat. Soweto Gospel Choir)
03. Si Do Mhaimeo
04. Up To The Mountain
05. Zininzi
06. Solo Tu / Still Life
07. To Tango Tis Nefelis
08. Turning Page
09. Shenandoah
10. Guajira
11. Notre Futur
12. The Long Road
13. Ek Verlang Na Jou
14. Love Gets Old

Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
August 27, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews



August 24, 2015

New Age Review: Pete Calandra-First Light

Release Date: 09/21/2015
Label: Indie

Pete Calandra’s fifth studio release First Light takes the human condition, the beauty of nature and our inner spirit as sentient beings and turns it into instrumental perfection. The official release date is two days prior to the beginning of the Fall Equinox on September 23rd. I believe there is a connection there based on the type of music this is and the subject matter that evolves around it. Calandara uses various layers of keyboards then adds cello, oboe, violin and more to make it an orchestrated pathway to the heavens.

The instrumentation and soft voices that gather together for each composition are smooth and relaxing journeys. I felt as if this music could have a twofold purpose. My first impression was for the pure enjoyment of the listening experience and then secondly and perhaps more profoundly, as a meditative guide to awaken your inner most self. This would bring with it good thoughts and positive energy, the kind of energy that heals and makes the heart smile.

I believe the new age genre holds many gifts for the listener to discover, if of course your mind, body and spirit are an open book. 

The title track “First Light” is very fitting to the atmosphere and meaning of the recording and most obviously to the CD cover. The track is one of the outstanding compositions on the album and was featured on our RateThe Tracks site as well. This is a gorgeously picturesque track that grabbed my attention immediately and made the light of a new day a reality. That is what good music is supposed to do, particularly instrumental music of this ilk. It really should paint a picture in your mind’s eye and it most certainly does in this case.

“Valley of Two Lakes” connects you to nature…Mother Earth, which equals synchronicity of the soul with the planet in my mindset. It starts off very inviting and gentle with a blend of keyboards then changes and gives a path to a walk in a Japanese garden with plants, sounds and smells of nature putting you into a trance. I thought of my visits to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco many years ago while absorbing all the sounds into my consciousness.

I can see how this artist has been in demand to create soundtracks for other media outlets besides the general listening public. His multitude of talents and innate perception of what needs to be heard and the entire creative process is a truly a gift.

More beauty and the meaning of life will abound once again with “Circle The Time.” What is the relevance of time after all? Did not humans create that measure of life? We are specks of dust in a vast universe and the importance of it belongs to each individual but is there not a circle, a continuity of life itself that spins around on this earth? The track made me think of all this and ushered in the rest of the album with a stunning grace and beauty that was most appreciated by these ears.

First Light is a musical flight of color and sound that is passionate and wondrous. It will delight the auditory senses and give your surroundings a different meaning while listening. Once again as always, this is up to each individual listener. I can only relate to what the music does for me and how it communicates to me personally and hopefully other listeners will have the same rewarding experience. It was a nice feeling to have throughout the run of this album and I would recommend putting it on after a tough day at the office.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: First Light, Valley of Two Lakes, Circle The Time

Tracks:
 01. Open Your Heart
02. Night City
03. First Light
04. Sunset Sky
05. Valley of Two Lakes
06. Keep The Faith
07. The Dream
08. Inner Secrets
09. Circle The Time
10. Flames of Love
11. Morning Star
12. Sunrise Over New York City (2015)
13. The Poet
 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
August 24, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

August 19, 2015

Instrumental/Classical New Age Review: Karen Marie Garrett-It’s About Love

Genre: Instrumental/Classical New Age
Release Date: July 4, 2015
Label: Waterstreet Records & Publishing, Inc.

Karen Marie Garrett is a nimble fingered pianist that combines elements of new age and classical to formulate beautiful solo instrumentals.

It’s About Love, her third studio release, is a 5 track recording that puts many things into focus.  So what is Love? Simply put it is a timeless word that encapsulates many feelings and emotions. It can have several meanings dependent on who you are and what your own personal interpretation is.

Ms. Garrett has a gift of interpreting that powerful word through her music. The five tracks that encompass this EP is a spiritual experience that many people will treasure. Her talent is apparent from the very beginning and it is consistent throughout this recording. While 5 tracks may not seem like much in this day and age of CDs coming out with 16-20 tracks it certainly makes a strong impression in the allotted time. For these ears that is the most important aspect of any listening experience. It is quality above quantity any day for my tastes and certainly I would not be the alone in that mindset.

It may be difficult for some folks to fathom how one takes piano music and makes it all sound like love. If you let yourself absorb the sounds it feels as natural as any other normal daily activity.  I am one that has an affinity to instrumental music so it is always a normal way of listening but even so if it was not, I believe I would be able to assimilate this music into love.

Karen Marie Garrett has created something beautiful and awe inspiring with It’s About Love and I would highly recommend you listen and let it work for you. This is no frills music that affords a listener both simplicity and elegance through sound. It will quickly relax you and make you feel renewed once you have opened the doorway to your heart. 

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL


Tracks: 
1. Abbie Marie
2. It’s About Love
3. Deschutes River Sunrise
4. Another Time
5. Mothers Prayer

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
August 18, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

August 18, 2015

Video/Track Feature: Celestial Temple-Rasamayi and Paradiso


"Celestial Temple" is the focus track of the latest installment from Rasamayi and Paradiso. It is exactly what it claims to be. The title is very descriptive and when you hear the music or view the video the effect and purpose is transcendental.

The end result is achieved through the sounds and music that this duo create. Using unconventional instruments such as the Didgeridoo certainly presents a challenge, however they make it sound so natural and flowing with their presentation.

I highly recommend listening and viewing the video to get the full meaning and effect of this music. Welcome to the temple of the soul through Celestial Resonance.

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck 4.5/5 Stars
 


August 6, 2015

Jazz World Fusion Review: Randy Armstrong & Volker Nahrmann-Beyond Borders

Genre: Jazz World Fusion
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Label: UMP Records

Randy Armstrong & Volker Nahrmann have released a jazz world fusion album that reminded me of why I fell in love with jazz back in the early eighties listening to Al DiMeola, Jean Luc Ponty and Stanley Clark. Those artists showed me the way and invited me to explore a complex genre of music that offers a journey that never ends. 

With Beyond Borders, one of many releases that this duo has brought to the masses over the years, they have reestablished their place in the world of music. Several songs on Beyond Borders are tributes to jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar, and Beatle George Harrison.

I do not use the term world lightly; if you look at the fascinating and expressive cover it says it all for these artists. To me, the cover conveys that we are one people on this vast globe and music can unite us. So, let’s try to make our own music as a sentient race and make this a better place to live. This of course leaves the door open to your own personal interpretation and that is the beauty of such a stunning work of art as portrayed on the cover of this CD and all the music that it contains. As quoted from the artist page “Beyond Borders is considered their “Magnum Opus” featuring a collection of songs composed over a 40-year span of creative output, dedicated to the belief that music has the power to uplift the human spirit and be a catalyst for change in the world.” I think that puts it all into a proper perspective.

The term jazz world fusion comes into perfect focus with the opening track “Ciao Bella” (which was featured on Rate The Tracks). In Italian it translates to "Hi/Bye Beautiful," and what a hello it is. The first time I heard the sitar in popular music was back in the 60s when George Harrison introduced it into The Beatles music. I cannot say it is an instrument that fascinates me like some others however in this particular case I was amazed how beautiful and appropriate it sounded in “Shanti Om,” the dedication to Harrison and Shankar. It is one of the best tracks on the recording. The myriad of instruments employed throughout this project make it one of the more eclectic listens of the year.

There is something to take into account regarding the flow and energy in life, it is crucial to the balance of the body, mind and spirit. With that in mind I realized after a few listens to this captivating album that this brought this concept to the forefront of my consciousness.

“White Cloud Black Thunder” is another prolific change during the course of this album. It is a reminder of from whence we came and encourages us to honor our Native American brothers and sisters that gave us so much while receiving so little during the development of our great nation. It serves as a rain dance of life with tribal beats and chants accompanied by music that will mesmerize you.

For this listener Beyond Borders was like a guide to syncing my soul with my surroundings and finding more appreciation for the beauty of the human spirit and how Mother Nature can be one with us. The key is that we honor her rather than interfere with that delicate balance and synchronicity that is necessary for a spiritual partnership, one that has always been there. All of that and more can be discovered in the music, it invites you and cajoles you into a perfect blend of sound and textures that bring you to another place that is pure and feels right. In essence everything about this release reaches Beyond Borders, in fact any lines in the sand or self-imposed restrictions melt away, they all disappear after one listen. Randy Armstrong & Volker Nahrmann have created a masterpiece of jazz world fusion that will surely receive high praise for quite some time.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Ciao Bella, Shanti Om, White Cloud Black Thunder

Tracks:
01. Ciao Bella
02. Fear Not Fear
03. Unidad Anthem
04. Unidad
05. Wherever You Are
06. Shanti Om
07. White Cloud Black Thunder
08. There's Always Hope
09. Love Letters (The Story of Abelard & Heloise)
10. Fun in the Sun
11. Unidad Epilogue

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
August 6, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews