October 13, 2016

Contemporary Instrumental Review: Kelly Andrew - Rendezvous

Release Date: October 28, 2016
Label: Journey Music Entertainment
Kelly Andrew is a composer, pianist and producer with an innate talent to create picturesque music without the need for vocals. His new album Rendezvous is due to release on October 28, 2016.

The opening and track “Chasing Twilight,” has very pleasing guitar lines combined with Kelly’s ivory keys. The track gets you in the right mood, rhythm and in sync with what the artist is trying accomplish through the music. I loved the way this recording opens the door to a journey of musical pleasures.

I think the value of this album is its ability to gain your undivided attention in short order. Kelly succeeds by offering something different with each successive song.  For instance, after a certain pace and mood is set with the opener it changes entirely on the following track “Hand in Hand” by using different instruments to create a worldlier feel than a contemporary instrumental could offer. Although the foundation of this music by and large is contemporary steeped in classical, the artist has the talent to add his own melodies and transitions to give it a life and energy all its own. It flows with continuity and grows as the album progresses.

As I mentioned on our featured track “Rendezvous” on Rate The Tracks, the combination of piano and sax in the track brings a nice mixture of classical, new age and jazz that will delight all kinds of music lovers. And I stand by that.  With that thought in mind the appealing and good mood of “Awake in a Dream,” had a similar effect on me. The sound is soothing and serves as some nice chill music - smooth jazz mixed in with ethereal new age piano makes for a great partnership. The title of the track alone is thought provoking and a perfect soundscape for a movie or TV special. Or it can be a soundtrack for your start of the day to focus and center or on the other side at end of the day to unwind. The music is what you make it and this kind of music lets you shape it into something just for you, it is friendly to the spirit and rectifies you like all good music should.

As the album spins along a web of intricacies are formed and you are captured into that web of calm and satisfaction. Music like this makes me grateful, at peace and recharges my supply of energy. Sometimes we all feel like a train going off the tracks, allowing circumstances or other people to push us off course. This music will keep your train on the tracks or at the very least restart the engines that got you there in the first place.

I thought the succession of tracks was interesting and made sense too in regards to the human condition otherwise known as the roller coaster of life at times. The last three tracks being the most prolific.

“Promise,” “Lonely Road” and “Hope” intersect and “Hope” closes out the album offering a positive transition from thoughts that may be clouding your consciousness and keeping you from moving forward. Promise and hope can be a lonely road without the right support and the music initiates those good feelings and thoughts to help you bring you into the light.

Kelly Andrew has taken the canvas of human emotion and painted a picture that turns into a Rembrandt of musical interpretation that you will want to experience more than once. Set up your Rendezvous with Kelly as soon as you can. 

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Chasing Twilight, Rendezvous

 01. Chasing Twilight
02. Hand in Hand
03. Painted Butterfly
04. Awake In A Dream
05. Rendezvous
06. Serenade of the Night Sky
07. Looking Back
08. Promise
09. Lonely Road
10. Hope

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 13, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

October 6, 2016

Instrumental New Age Piano Review: Dan Chadburn-Beyond Words

Release Date: September 1, 2016
Label: Dan Chadburn Music

Last year just before the fall I was introduced to the music of Dan Chadburn through the album Keys of Light. Now over a year later I have another set of tracks to enjoy. The most recent release to his catalog is Beyond Words

Any good instrumental album could use that title but you better be able to back it up with exceptional music. Beyond Words does that with certain key elements I always look for in a piano based instrumental album. 

First the piano as a standalone instrument provides more than enough entertainment, this I know to be a fact. I hear this type of music on a regular basis so it has to be extraordinary, and it is. Secondly the pace, rhythm and objective must be clear, again in this case Dan gets all the boxes checked off.

His emotion, particularly on this album, is filled with the path of his life over the last 30 years. So how does a man take 30 years of living and interpret it over 14 songs? A good question indeed, so we get back to the three hot spots - pace, rhythms and objectives. His intent is clear, convey a different emotion in each track (just look at the titles), hence the pace is ever changing from start to finish. The rhythm and timing of every track is exceptional. The flow is easy and natural because all the important pieces fall together perfectly. It is like throwing a 50-piece puzzle in the air and then it lands on the floor complete with no missing pieces.

This is like the sequel to Keys of Light, he picks up where he left off. All 14 tracks are like a river of music flowing into each other with no end, with exception of you the listener being the recipient (as if you were the ocean the river is going to). I cannot help hearing the similarities between the last two releases in many ways. Last year I was feeling sadness because my daughter had left for college at this time however I am facing different challenges now. The music always helps and provides healing and positive energy.

So once again it is difficult to say any one track was a key to the listening experience they are all superb and link with each other. It is the entire album as one moving piece of art, a living breathing entity for you to embrace and allow to transport you to a better place. I think of a stress free space in my mind, heart and soul, one we shall all reach once we leave this earth and enter a different reality but that can be accomplished while we are here with a little help. That belief is for me and whatever you feel is your truth. Take what can give you the most hope, I suggest you make that your focus point and let this beautiful piano instrumental music take you there.

The title of the album will hit home once you start playing this music through. It can go so much further than the music, it is quintessentially Beyond Words. The music forms the words of Dan Chadburn and he is successful once again in putting together some great pieces that pay tribute to his talent and inner being, which is reflected in every track. This is music for any time of day or night, it soothes and clears your consciousness of any clutter, which makes it a true tool for general relaxation or meditation.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 6, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

October 5, 2016

New Age/Classical/World Review: Rebekah Eden-Rowing in Eden

Release Date: March 28, 2016
Label: Path of Gold Records

Rebekah Eden’s release this year is a made for movie soundtrack.  Rowing in Eden is 12 tracks of new age music backed with classical vocals. There are also some elements of world influences in her music that make it that much more compelling.

Her tracks were being considered for The Hobbit movies however they never made it to the final production. After hearing what she has to offer I must say it is a shame they did not follow through. Her voice is the most powerful instrument on the recording and everything else, to coin an old phrase, serves as the cherry on top of the ice cream. There is a gorgeous addition of a 41-piece Czech Orchestra to her amazing voice as well. Not to take anything away from other critical parts of this music that makes it complete, I am just amazed how clear and stunning her vocal talents are.

“A Message From The Stars” is superb way to open the curtain and eventually close it with a different version of the song. I like the transitions in the track with both songs and the second version, the impactful closer, is a heavenly melding of many voices. It will give you a greater appreciation for the ultimate instrument, the vox humana.

Rebekah recognizes her influences and shows that in the most prolific way with covering Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble’ On” (from Zeppelin II) and more specifically Robert Plant’s strong influence. She does this song in her own way and I have to say I found it quite fascinating. This one would have been perfect for one of The Hobbit movies. Her operatic vocal style just soars over the music and every note as if the song was written especially for her. That pretty much says it all considering it is a cover.

“Light of Destiny’ is a very stirring track. Rebekah’s vocals are angelic, rhythmic, and it gave me a chill, the good kind that makes you realize you are feeling something spiritual and special. These are the moments I cherish when listening to music.

More and more I am hearing a fantastic combination of instruments found in new age, classical and world music. The amalgamation is spectacular and all three genres are so closely related it sounds like everything comes to together to form one powerful style that cannot be denied. Artists like Rebekah Eden are leading the way, blazing a path for others to follow. Rowing in Eden is one of the better examples I have heard of genre mergers this year, predominantly one that included vocals.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Ramble On, Light of Destiny, A Message From The Stars (Virtual Choir)

01. A Message From The Stars
02. Iachtach / Prince Caspian's Prayer
03. The Wind
04. Ramble On
05. There And Back Again
06. Light of Destiny
07. The Two Trees
08. A King's Farewell
09. In The Days 
10. Wild Nights
11. A Message From The Stars (Virtual Choir)
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 5, 2016
Founder of:

September 30, 2016

Instrumental New Age/Jazz/World Review: Lawrence Blatt-Longitudes & Latitudes

Release Date: August 9, 2016
Label: LMB Music

When I saw that Lawrence Blatt’s latest release Longitudes & Latitudes was produced by Will Ackerman it totally made sense. Ackerman is a great acoustic guitar player that I have enjoyed over the years particularly when he was running his Windham Hill label.

Right from the outset of this album I could hear Ackerman’s influence however now he is more of an influence on the production side of the house. Tom Eaton is the engineer on the album as well, a consistent partner of Ackerman.

As stated on his website Lawrence often plays in an open tuning to create a nice rhythm then adds the other instruments. It is a very effective combination. He plays electric and acoustic guitars and synthesizer (and like any good musician has many to choose from). Many of the guests appearing on the album help to make this journey complete including Ackerman and the marvelous brass of Jeff Oster. Because of the diversity offered on the album it is clearly an instrumental foray into new age, jazz and world.

The percussive elements on the track “Ima” along with various earthy tones, switch the albums path to a worldlier flavor when prior tracks were bubbling over with a definite new age/jazz flavor and inspiration. The beauty of many of the recordings I have heard this year pay tribute to Mother Earth and that is the route Lawrence took as well on several tracks. With 15 tracks there is plenty to process and it’s a beautiful thing.

“Upon Griffy Lake” carries a gorgeous melody with the equally attractive female vocals of Noah Wilding. The lady seems to call out to you from beyond as the music lets you float to your destination via the acoustic and electric guitar lines of Lawrence. He uses a intriguing and impactful combination of acoustic and electric instruments with the young lady’s voice serving as an instrument as well. It is one my favorite tracks. So much beauty and gracefulness packed into one song is hard for the mind, body and spirit to miss.

The other component I recognized on this album is the excellent restraint exercised when needed to accentuate each instrument allowing for the best compliment to each. Each track moves from strength to strength.

“Noches de Barcelona” is full of the embodiment that is Spain and the video with the track is beautiful. It was featured on our Rate The Tracks site and is provided here as well.  We have also included a preview of the album with a video and a Soundcloud stream so you can get a good idea of what this talented artist can offer.

This is 5-star recording session that is both relaxing and exciting at the same time, not an easy task to pull off. It is all done extremely well and the tastes of genres is most appealing including the mixture of them all in one single track.

Add Longitudes & Latitudes to your list one of the very best instrumental recordings of 2016. It’s not hard to do if you appreciate new age, jazz or world or all three combined, the choice is obvious so give it a good listen!

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Ima, Upon Griffy Lake, Noches de Barcelona

01. Two Shades of Sunshine
02. Longitudes and Latitudes
03. A Place in Your Heart
04. Hyde Park Bench
05. Open Fields and Running Water
06. Two Steps Down the Line
07. I.M.A.
08. Morning in Beerse
09. Upon Griffy Lake
10. The Places Left Behind
11. Park Lane
12. Noches De Barcelona
13. Flying over Ellis Island
14. Slow Walk Past the Bank
15. Over the Rainbow


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 30, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

September 27, 2016

Audio Fidelity Inks Licensing Deal With Will Ackerman's West River Records

Ackerman's Grammy winning "Returning" coming on 180g vinyl for the 1st time!

Camarillo, CA - Marshall Blonstein, president of Audio Fidelity is pleased to announce an agreement with Will Ackerman and his West River Records. The agreement calls for Audio Fidelity, in conjunction with West River Records, to release the first 180g vinyl pressing of Ackerman's 2005 Grammy award winning recording, "Returning: Pieces for Guitar 1970-2004." Ackerman is universally recognized as the preeminent pioneer in the new age music movement, and the founder of Windham Hill Records.

In 2004, after years of growth and introspection, Ackerman re-recorded an album of his best-known songs. A greatest hits collection of all new performances.  The playing and recording of these New Age instrumentals are sharper now than on those original Windham Hill classics and Ackerman's most popular compositions have rarely sounded as poignant.

Blonstein felt one of the elements of working with Will Ackerman that would have great appeal to Audio Fidelity's music fans were simple words Will spoke at the time of the recording about why he wanted to make the album. "Today I'm recording in my own Imaginary Road Studios in Windham County, Vermont on utterly state of the art digital equipment. It all brings me closer to what I hear as I sit alone and play; touching the sound as it literally moves through my body as well as my ears. I guess I am trying to find a sound that lets you hear what I hear."

Will's goal was to take a series of 11 favorite songs and record them for posterity in a way that reflects the emotional nuances, precision, and maturing beauty they've picked up along the road. He includes the graceful and lushly melodic "The Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter," the sweet and melancholy "Anne's Song", and two peaceful early gems from 1970, "Pictures" and "Barbara's Song." Some were written as celebrations ("Unconditional"), others as elegies ("The Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit"), but all are intricate snapshots of a vastly influential musical life that keeps inventive to this day.


Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter
Anne's Song
The Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit
Hawk Circle

Side 2
Barbara's Song
In a Region of Clouds
Last Day at the Beach

Will Ackerman official website: http://www.williamackerman.com/

For more information: www.audiofidelity.net

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

September 26, 2016

Instrumental Meditation Review: Hennie Bekker-Beyond Dreams-Pathways to Deep Relaxation

Release Date: July 22, 2016
Label: Abbeywood Records
Hennie Bekker has a new release titled Beyond Dreams. As explained in the most clear and concise fashion on his website…it combines rhythmic entrainment with melodies that listeners can enjoy while preparing for sleep, meditating, or practicing yoga or general self-exploration. The album contains six tracks comprising sixty minutes of continuous music that is designed to help the listener achieve a deep state of relaxation.

Here is a definition of entrainment: Entrainment in the biomusicological sense refers to the synchronization of organisms (only humans as a whole, with some particular instances of a particular animal) to an external perceived rhythm, such as human music and dance such as foot tapping..

This is not a typical review that I would present. More importantly the music itself is the main tool to reach a level of consciousness that simply cannot be attained in normal daily circumstances. I think to single out any one particular track would not make sense in this case. The six tracks offered, seamlessly flow into another in effect taking six tracks and making it one. I took in this experience a little at a time then all at once. The influences can be significant dependent on your approach. 

Just taking in a track or two is relaxing however if you are looking for sustained focus the best way to enjoy this CD is to get into a comfortable quiet area and put the headphones on and some blinders and then take it all in. I found it to be a beautiful and relaxing experience having the aid of the music to remove me from the stresses and thoughts that were going on inside and around me (in a peripheral sense). The high point of stress and worry in my life found this experience to be timed just perfectly to use the tools before me.

Brainwave Entrainment is the main objective of this music. We need to change the frequencies we are hearing to reset our thought patterns hence changing your overall attitude. It does work and I think what Hennie Bekker has presented here is a gift of music and an opportunity for healing and renewal. There is a lot of music I hear that serves this purpose but the difference here is the scientific aspect and the thought and care that went into how exactly this music will affect you.

This is definitely Beyond Dreams, it is reality, a reality that can change with a little help from Mr. Bekker. Even if you end up falling asleep while meditating there is a positive effect on your body, mind and spirit. The subliminal touches take over once you reach that plane of existence. Any way you look at it this is music that is helpful if you want to take the time to hear it and let your consciousness absorb it and process it.

Beyond Dreams is music that is multipurpose. If you just want to hear some good relaxing music it will serve the purpose, if you are looking for more, the options are there at your disposal.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL

1. Self Connect
2. Floating to Forever
3. Letting Go
4. The Calm
5. Quiescence
6. Beyond Dreams

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 26, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

September 19, 2016

Instrumental New Age/Classical Review: Kevin Kern-When I Remember

Release Date: September 9, 2016
Label: Kevin Kern Music
People that are given obstacles in life either give in and give up to them or use that as motivation to push forward and become successful in spite of it. Kevin Kern took the positive path and used music as his voice of expression. Kevin has poor eyesight but judging by what this album titled When I Remember sounds like, that is not a disability.

The artist is influenced by Mozart, Chopin and Bach, all the great composers. He gained his tools by learning pieces by these legendary musicians when he was young. This is what and when he remembers as the title suggests (at least that is my interpretation). The tracks mirror that foundation in the most elegant and beautiful way.

I have heard countless standalone piano recordings this year and there is something about the simplicity and peacefulness it can bring to a listener that has intrigued me and given me the desire to accept it with an open heart and mind.

One track seamlessly flows into the next offering a road to renewal. The ivory keys deliver a touch of heaven to your senses. For my listening experience it is a threefold process…sound, color and spirit. All three elements combine to ease my mind and soul and give me the comfort I seek at the end of each day.

Because of the way each song connected to the next with different variations in tempo and approach I found it very difficult to pull out a few tracks that really stood out. This is not to downplay the recording but it is quite the opposite, it is actually complimenting the artist on his consistency and approach from start to finish.

It is music like this that always seems to come to me at the right time day or night, it is a gift from the gifted. Kevin Kern is an enlightened spirit with the gift of music inside and he offers an audience his translation through his talented fingers and energy. 

When I Remember is musical perfection that heals and offers so much if one can focus long enough to stop and listen. I think that practice of stopping and listening could really be helpful in everyone’s daily life in these tumultuous times we live in. Thank god for musicians transporting the universal language of love and joy through music and that is exactly what Mr. Kern does on this recording.

4/5 Stars
Key Tracks: ALL


 01. We Should Waltz
02. Once Upon a Time
03. Say You Love Me
04. Chance Encounter
05. Dreaming of Home
06. When I Remember
07. Rise and Shine
08. By My Side
09. Off to the Races (For Grampa Norm)
10. Chopin’s Touch
11. A Walk in the Sun
12. A Lonely Heart

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 19, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews