Posts Tagged ‘ New Age ’

Brian Culbertson – Soundscapes

In Brian’s own words: “This project is a journey into film music, something I’ve always been fascinated with. It is also meant to calm and help reconnect with nature.

NOTE: Total length is exactly 25 minutes. However, the last track (“Silence”) is 2:19 of nothing, total silence. This is of course on purpose. After listening to the first 5 tracks (which all meld into one another), I did not want it to either immediately start over from the beginning, nor did I want another random song to start playing as that would have ruined the ‘total relaxation’ that you’re feeling. I find it similar to the end of a yoga session when you’re lying in corpse pose for a few minutes before getting up.”

Get the album here.

Rob Mullins – Winter Dreams III

Rob Mullins is a versatile keyboardist capable of playing both crossover and bop. Born in Enid, OK, Mullins spent time in Ontario, CA, before moving with his family to Denver when he was 14. He began playing drums when he was 11, but three years later when his leg was broken in a car accident, Mullins began playing piano. Mullins’ parents loved jazz, so he was well acquainted with the music when at 16 he formed a jazz combo. He attended the University of Northern Colorado for a period, studied with George Russell in New York, and in Denver started his own record company (RMC Records), cutting four albums that sold very well in the region.

In time, Mullins moved to Los Angeles, became a fixture in local clubs, and recorded one best-selling CD after another, primarily for Nova, RME, and most recently for Zebra. Rob Mullins has worked with Branford Marsalis, Kirk Whalum, Ronnie Laws, Spike Robinson, Brian Bromberg, the Crusaders (touring in Joe Sample’s former spot for three years), the Rippingtons, Diane Schuur, Dave Grusin, and many others, including his own band of local all-stars.

His newest offer is the album Winter Dreams III, a solo piano album with dreamy melodies. You can buy this album here.

David Lanz – Water Sign

“Most of my life, I have lived near bodies of water. Small lakes, the Great Lakes, streams, canals, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and now the Mediterranean Sea. I grew up in Seattle, which has quite a reputation for it’s rainfall and I was born under the astrological sign of Cancer, which is of course known as one of the water signs. I’ve written songs with titles like Rain Forest, Behind The Waterfall, Desert Rain, Water from the Moon, Norwegian Rain and here, the six pieces from the Water Sign Suite: Wonder Wave, Rain Dancer Returns, As Rivers Flow, The Water Bearer, Moonlight Lake, and Neptune Dancing.

Living now on the island of Cyprus, the sun plays a role in my musical life as a source of inspiration. But water and the flow of life speaks to me at the deepest level. I am truly all about flow. So with that in mind, I offer the WATER SIGN album…inspired by the sun, the moon, family, romantic love and of course water.”

The new album Water Sign is available for pre-order on David’s website.

Michael Whalen – Sacred Spaces

Michael Whalen is an internationally known recording artist. His soaring melodies and beautiful ambient spaces are beloved by fans throughout the world. From New Age/ambient to classical to pop to jazz/fusion to his many soundtrack recordings, Michael’s catalog of music is deep, rich and filled with beauty. As a producer, Michael has worked with over a hundred artists creating gorgeous projects for: Stephen Sondheim, The Bala Brothers, Jim Brickman, Andiamo, Mary McLaughlin, Chris Botti and many others. Explore Michael’s vast collection and fall in love with the perfect soundtrack for your life.

2020 release. Sacred Spaces has been an album many years in the making. First, it started as a classical project in the late 2000s. Michael thought that he would write a “string symphony” based on his search for spiritual path. A three-movement piece was plotted and a number of musical themes were developed… and then nothing for years. In 2018, Michael picked-up the project again but decided to put the classical treatment aside in favor of a large scale electronic project. He picked some of the existing melodic material to work on for the recording. He then started to create sounds for the project. Over three months, he created over 800 sounds, textures, loops and timbres. “After working on thousands commercials for over 30 years” Michael says, “I am not sure how many of my listeners know how much sound design work I have done. Honestly, sound design is a skill that is at the same level as my melodic skills – I think. I am surprised how many new timbres I made that I had never created before. A whole new palette. Once I had the sounds all set, the album happened very quickly.”

Get this album at Amazon.com.

David Bach – Perficiendi

Keyboardist David Bach will not be known to most readers. With his official biography, which is peppered with many references to awards and recognitions like 2016 Maryland Music Awards Best Jazz Artist, Maryland State Art Performance Award and a Maryland State Art Composition Award he does not make it easier to come across his real career.

However, I like him already by the fact that he worked with Crystal Waters, the Basement Boys, Exodus Quartet, Thievery Corporation, Everything but the Girl, Fishbelly Black and Enrique Eglesias.  This musician therefore disposes of a healthy mixture of intuition for the elitist and financial stability. The one does not always exclude the other.

More about his releases is to find in his discography. Window On The West (1998), 5Thousand Words (2001), A Deep Breath (2005), Live at Baker Park (2008), Otherworld (2013) are listed as his solo records. His newest project Perficiendi (2020) is just released on Polyphemus Records.

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Robert Christa – Smooth World

German pianist and composer Robert Christa is a musician you really should have on the radar. Since his debut Nightflight To Rio (2015) and his sophomore project City Lights in 2017 he has come out as an insider tip in the smooth jazz genre. This impression is convincingly confirmed by his third album Smooth World (2019).

Robert Christa performs on his new album keys, backing vocals and programming. He is joined on selected tracks by Robert Friedl (sax), Tom Reif (guitar), Bernd Hemminger (bass), Josiah Ruff, Stephanie Forryan, Mel Kamper (vocals), Mattias Hase (acoustic guitar), Llioba Bruns (cello), Natascha Weber, Lyn Conary, Daniana (backing vocals).

The album opens with Rise & Shine which reveals Christa’s penchant for perfect construction with a great opening. Saxophonist Robert Friedl and guitarist Tom Reif get plenty of opportunity to bring their own ideas to the play.

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Gina Leneé – Revealed

Revealed is pianist Gina Leneé‘s second album produced by Grammy-winner Will Ackerman and co-produced, engineered, and mastered by Tom Eaton. All but one track was composed by the artist (the exception being her cover of the famous romantic ballad “On the Wings of Love’). As would be expected of an Imaginary Road Studio effort, many of the IR’s usual suspects are present in varying roles: Charlie Bisharat (violin), Premik Russell Tubbs (soprano sax and EWI), Jeff Haynes (percussion), Eugene Friesen (cello) Jeff Oster (flugelhorn) as well as Ackerman (acoustic guitar) and Eaton (electric bass). As she showed on Red Diamonds, Leneé displays a deft touch and superb control of nuance and tone, and never allowing her playing to exhibit meaningless artifice or unnecessary pyrotechnics. The guest artists are used sparingly, but as one would expect, their talents contribute to the overall aesthetic of the album whenever they do appear on a song.

Whereas Red Diamonds focused on melodies glowing with soft shadings of romance, Revealed‘s sound tends to evoke a more pensive, somber mood on most tracks, making the album more reflective and even, perhaps, meditative. Leneé’s playing style is not truly minimalist, but tends to be more sparse than some of her contemporaries. And boy, does she make every note count. The prevailing mood of introspection is immediately discerned on the opening “Undeniable” on which Leneé is joined by Oster who colors the tune with a soft glow of jazz/blues. “Finding Me Again” continues the reflective aspect of the first song, albeit with a slightly warmer melodic approach. Leneé’s playing on this song flows nicely, as if a river wending its way through the countryside under a twilight’s amber-shaded sky.

Before delving into a few more of the songs, it’s important to quote some of the artist’s liner notes, which go a long way to explain the overall tone and mood of Revealed. “Revealed is a musical dedication to empower YOU, the listener, in the darkest moments when pain, rejection, self-doubt and isolation weakens your spirit and leaves you the most vulnerable.” You can understand, now, why the main thrust of the album is a musical portrait of self-exploration and a balancing act of somber melancholy as well as a show of subtle strength. “I Want to Get Closer” exemplifies this duality as the song traverses the opening somberness with a palpable climb to subtle drama, characterized by not just Leneé’s piano but Tubbs’ softly soaring sax playing. On “Over,” Bisharat’s violin embellishes the piano melody with just the right amount of tenderness without injecting any sense of the maudlin or faux sentimentality. “Run Away With Me” is a lighter, cheerier tune, with a slightly sped-up tempo (in comparison to most of the songs on the album). Oster’s horn work adds just the right amount of something extra, an element of romance to fuse with Leneé’s piano lead.

Throughout the entirety of Revealed, what stands out to me is the depth of feeling and sincerity of emotion that Leneé brings to the fore. This is the work of a mature artist, someone who is quite comfortable in opening her soul to the listener, pouring out her memories as notes on the keyboard. As the winter approaches (for us in the northern climes, at least), here is an album that almost begs to be listened to as the days grow shorter, the nights grow colder, and the outside world slowly goes to sleep. So, set a fire in the hearth, pour yourself a glass of wine, dim the lights, and indulge in the richness that is Revealed.

You can buy the album on CDBaby.

Brian Culbertson – XX

As chart-topping multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Brian Culbertson crafts his 20th album, the aptly titled “XX” – Roman numerals representing twenty – he revealed plans for the extensive US concert tour that will support the record release. Beginning April 1 in Louisville, Kentucky, Culbertson will take an elaborately designed concert production, The XX Tour, on the road for three consecutive months, playing more than 70 shows, an extremely rare feat for a contemporary jazz artist.

Culbertson’s catalogue includes recordings of jazz – contemporary and straight ahead – as well as R&B, funk, instrumental pop and New Age. “XX,” which drops April 10, reflects his remarkable diversity.

“It’s a mix of things that I’ve done throughout my twenty records. There’s a lot of funky instrumentals, some pop-sounding tracks, a couple slow jams, straight-ahead jazz, gospel, some vocals, lots of horns and some straight-up FUNK! The album is very much a mixture of some modern sounding programming along with live instruments, too. Real drums on almost everything mixed with programming. Definitely a cool sound,” said Culbertson, who invites fans to get involved with the making of “XX” via an Indiegogo campaign that launched this week (https://igg.me/at/BCXX).

Recreating that cool sound live for The XX Tour is Culbertson’s favorite part. Like his massive Colors of Love Tour that played 77 shows in three months and was captured for “Brian Culbertson’s Colors of Love Tour: Live in Las Vegas” Blu-ray disc and two-disc CD that dropped last Valentine’s Day, Culbertson is creating the sound and look for The XX Tour as a sensory experience. The exuberant performer spends months in preproduction meticulously conceiving stunning visuals – staging, lighting, wardrobe and effects – in order to put on a mesmerizing show each time he takes the stage. In addition to spotlighting the new album, the setlist will include cuts from Culbertson’s hit-filled songbook that has amassed 32 Billboard No. 1 singles. There will also be a segment showcasing songs from “Winter Stories,” an album released last month that placed him in an acoustic jazz trio setting for the first time.
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Walter Beasley – Bedtime

Bed Time is composed by Walter Beasley to help us cope with the daily struggles of life. Simply hit play and float away.

Get this album on CDBaby.

Anthony Baskey – Aves

Canadian composer Anthony Baskey creates stirring new age / smooth jazz instrumental compositions with an underlying foundation of complex harmonic progressions.

Aves is a continuation of Anthony’s progressive evolving style and includes his popular single release from 2018, “A New Day”.

Get this album on CDBaby.