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Every Moment by Joseph L Young
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 3/18/2018
Pristinely beautiful
There are times in my life when I come across an album that is so good it gives me the chills when I least expected it to do so, but Joseph L Young’s latest release Every Moment has just done that, and continues to do so with every play.
Young this time is on Saxophone and incorporates other musical genius along with him to manifest something out of this world musically for us to enjoy. The skills of Young for instance on Tin Whistle, brings us such a mournful repose on the opening track Prism, while the sax of Young is played with such soul and oneness it’s unbelievable.
Young’s sensitivity as a musician is well known and here on Falling Through Time we explore not only that sublime touch, but also a slightly more rhythmic approach to this next composition, while Young is the constant master narrator on the sax, he also seems to be the magical creator who brings this simply delightful track all together with the consummate ease of a musical magician.
Now we move to the stunning title track and of course this is entitled Every Moment, the beginning of this beautiful opus is very ambient in its construction. Here we have a quality composition, the headline piece, which brings so many colours to the whole project, try gazing at the quite breath taking art work for this album, and listen to this particular track, it’s very effective.
The moody and bass filled Twilight is now upon us and a more redolent piece reflective of this moment in time you will find. This deeply moving composition brings a really contemplative moment for us all, the synths, bass and percussion are creators of alternate dimensions that partner Young’s sax to perfection.
On Time Traveler we have a totally different piece and we come across another friend of the flute in Cornel Kinderknecht, this time employing his talents on the Bansuri Flute. The sax of Young seems to tell the tale of the time travellers sojourns with the ease of a grand master; there is also a real energy of a movie soundtrack about this arrangement too.
The swirling synths at the start of the middle based composition Once In A While set the scene, the bass and beat is the foundation for something smooth, but spectacular, the movement of musical time is so very evident here, the refrain of Young’s sax is so imploring and emotive, and will make this, with its many nuances, a must to return to piece again and again.
Joseph L Young returns to his Native American style for this next offering called Vicariously Blue. Young’s smooth and poignant sax is joined by his Native American Flute, and their performance together creates something deep, but very respectful. The percussion and chimes add a layer of further soul to this already classy composition.
I adored the ambience that Continuum created for me, the song elevates its energy and manifests something quite special, here we can hear Young’s passion and heart on sax like never before. There is something so fluent and attractive about this piece, one can constantly sense the unceasing tick and tock of the relentless clock here as well.
Chronos Dreams is now with us; he is well known to us here in the Greek Islands and Cyprus, the God of all time. This steady and onward flow of musical crafting is perfection for the subject matter in question. The vastness of this composition is like time itself, immense and endless, and the construction of this track has that energy about its arrangement, kudos also to Lisa Bittick, whose Viola here was sublime.
We have moved now into the far reaches of the album and come across a fascinating opus called Letting Go, something I have done a lot of lately. For the first time Joseph is joined by vocalist Rona Yellow Robe, who also provided the lyric’s as well. I found something quite spiritual about this offering, one could almost be forgiven for thinking this could actually be our mother Earth talking to us, however, the partnership with Young on sax, drew a really empowering narrative and one with much hope built into the overall track too.
Synths swirl around us once more as we arrive at the penultimate offering of the album and this one is called Eleventh Hour, there is almost a light rock feel about this piece that is pretty appealing, and the composition itself has a wonderful sense of anticipation of something big ahead within its construction, this is one of those pieces that I can see myself listening to frequently.
So, we have landed at the last composition on the album, but before the artist leaves this realm he has created, he will give us one parting musical gift to take home with us, and it’s called Evening Repose. Natural sounds greet our ears and a sultry and soft sax manifests a vista so deeply relaxing and calming. I am pretty sure this is going to be played on my veranda this summer, as I gaze out at the ocean blue. At over six minutes it is the longest piece off the release, but it could have lasted for sixty minutes, I wouldn’t have minded, it is simply the perfect way to the leave the album and shut down the day.
Every Moment by Joseph L Young is one of the finest albums I have heard this year, there have been a few now but it’s so pleasing to hear so much quality out there. Young though on this album, has opened his heart and embraced his original muse, the Saxophone, and manifested something so pristinely beautiful, that it will flourish in all corners of the musical world, this is one you will absolutely not want to miss out on.
Rating: Excellent
Spiritual Odyssey by Russell Suereth
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 3/16/2018
A very classy release indeed
Russell Suereth has been on a Spiritual Odyssey for some time now, so it’s no surprise that this header is used to emphasize his latest release. Although the music of Suereth has been around for a while now, he really came to prominence in 2015 with the release of his instrumental album Spiritual Haven, which was a huge hit for the listeners of One World Music Radio.
This new ten piece album has all the elements of that release, but more, the lyrics of the songs and Suereth’s vocals all go to raising this awareness about a spiritual path of peace, and adds an extra dimension to emphasize his point further. The opener Break The Chains is a fine example of that, freedom from the past, and new beginnings are now available.
The spiritual growth of an individual can be seen on the next two offerings in My Beating Heart and Where Will I Go, as we embrace change and a spiritual expansion. The multi instrumentation used on this release is beautifully performed and produced and creates a perfect foundation to explore further.
The voyage of a spiritual quest continues with sojourns of new experiences found through tracks like A Ride to Virgo, the vastness of the journey with, So Far Away and the clarity of Its All Around, rounding off with blossoming of the spirit in The Burning Rainbow, in fact all ten compositions are a musical map of sorts, to this pathway of enlightenment. Russell Suereth has given us an opportunity through this album, to explore our transcendent highway, and we can use Spiritual Odyssey as a soundtrack for this adventure, in what is a fresh, but very classy release indeed.
Rating: Excellent
Soundscapes by Deborah Offenhauser
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 3/13/2018
Go on a wide-eyed journey of wonderment and bliss
A new day begins and with new music to enjoy, the album in question today is Soundscapes by Deborah Offenhauser, and it is indeed a very pleasant musical journey we are about to take.
Offenhauser has a long legacy of musical history, and her prowess has been seen on many TV shows and stages around the world; here on Soundscapes, she brings to our musical table one of the most inspiring works in the contemporary instrumental field we will have seen, or heard, in a very long time.
This voyage of ultra-tone and style starts with Decidedly Joyful, a composition that has a perfect vibrant start to the album and a colourful arrangement that just continues to build throughout, a little drama, a fine sax, and an all empowering piano, this is simply perfection.
The artist then follows that up with Free Radical, a mournful repose can be found here, a reflective energy abounds, and Offenhauser’s piano is delightful in all that it creates, at the half way juncture a synth cuts in, and the tempo is empowered to an extent that one could feel that something is literally being born here, this flow calms down to a lush and natural sense of ambience, a very clever track indeed.
I adore the sounds of nature on the piece Nothing Can Touch You Now. The mood created is serene and calm, the keyboards and flute manifest a musical sanctuary of the soul, there is a gentle build, which ushers in the piano of Offenhauser, who then manifests a musical narrative that would sit well within any film score.
At the start of many of the pieces so far, we have been welcomed in by a sound of nature, in this case what seems to be a bonfire with a horse running past, and then the smooth keyboards create a feeling of early morning, with suspense hanging in the background of an exciting new day. At just short of seven minutes Irrational Exuberance is the longest offering on the album and is easily the most intriguing, the strings here give us an essence of constant forward movement, and as always Offenhauser’s piano is chief narrator of this quite amazing composition.
The sounds of a hot night greet our ears with the creatures of the forest beginning their serenade at sunset. A very eastern feel can be felt on Tanz, one that is not too dissimilar from some of the more folk styled music we get here in the Cypriot mountain villages. The energy of the dance is within this piece and the deep and powerful percussion partners the piano of Offenhauser brilliantly, while the actuality of the location is more than likely North African in origin.
One of the most fascinating pieces is Spacial Palace; we start with a combination of natural sounds and the energy of humanity’s unceasing bustle. The keyboards then create a sense of time passing and a movement away from the world as we know it, a new journey of an outer worldly essence begins, and this is all captured beautifully within a bubble of wonderment and excitement.
The most artistic title is upon us know, Through A Glass Darkly is up next. The grounding energies of nature surround us, and then the track takes on an almost Temple in the Forest feel by David Neagle in its early stages. The arrangement then increases in both tempo and intent and ends up leaving us with what could be described as one of the most picturesque and anthem like compositions on the entire album.
On Rosemont Theme, we have another intriguing narrative, one that has an element of suspense and mystery within its construction, but a slow change appears to move us away from the essence of apprehension, to a happier and calming arrangement. The strings here almost create a sense of romance for us to enjoy, as the piece resolves its earlier tension.
The guitar on Air is simply delightful and adds a light and peaceful segway to, and into, the overall narrative of the piece, the piano and guitar here seem to literally dance with each other on this really cheer filled opus of happiness, spinning each other around and around, with smiles of the faces of all in attendance.
That period after sunset, but before the shroud of the night is now upon us and aptly called The Gloaming. You will find yourself listening to this piece intently, so you will not miss a single nuance. Offenhauser has created a real twilight of a piece that perfectly reflects that sense of impending darkness of night, with a little hint of mystery stirred into the musical pot for good measure, listen to the strings in this offering, they are the creators of this fascinating mood filled narrative.
Morning has broken and the waves calmly roll up to the sands of time and as such a new opportunity is now upon us, so let us bathe in that moment with the composition It Is Written. This is a beautiful arrangement; the multi instrumental nature of this composition is sublime in creating a feeling that anything is possible for us, the co-creators of the planet.
This has been a truly captivating voyage of sight and sound, now on this, the penultimate offering, we come across a composition called Tanninim, and we can dive into the deepest oceans to enjoy its energies, mingling as we do with the other sea creatures. The ambience manifested here is clever and also fashions a reality of a vast underwater realm, with great skill and intelligence.
We now finally dock our musical boat at the port of one of the most atmospheric albums I have heard for some time, and the artist will gift us one last composition to take with us on our way. That arrangement is entitled The Wonderful Unfoldment Of Blue. This is the ideal track to leave us with; a calming and tranquil narrative can be found here, the limitless essence of this opus is so appealing, and one can also hear a sense of appreciation and gratitude here too.
Soundscapes is well named, it also has to be one of the most unique releases I have heard this year, the performances, the production, the quality and styles are all simply perfection in every aspect of musical awareness. Deborah Offenhauser has built an album here that will take each and every listener on a musical voyage of wide eyed wonderment and bliss, all done so with the consummate ease of a true professional.
Rating: Excellent
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