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Sanctuary for the Soul by Janice Lacy Project
- posted by Lena on 1/24/2017

SANCTUARY FOR THE SOUL is a lovely album by the JANICE LACY PROJECT, mostly featuring delicate duets between piano and cello. This is instrumental new age music (with hints of modern classical and a touch of jazz).

Janice Lacy (who composed all the material) plays piano with Jeniss on cello (there are a few other instruments on some tunes). Lacy studied classical music for many years, including eight years of classical repertoire and theory with Joe Weisberg (Erich Leinsdorf, Frank Murphy), and did in-depth analysis of the musical scores for many classic operas with members of the San Francisco Opera Company. Jeness has toured the world performing with James Taylor, Kenny Loggins, K.D. Lang and the La Scala Quartet. A few other top musicians also put in appearances. Keyboardist/pianist Rob Mullins (who also produced) has 30 solo albums and has worked with Hubert Laws, The Crusaders, The Rippingtons, Dave Grusin, Branford Marsalis, Kirk Whalum and many other top jazz acts. Bassist Larry Antonino, a member of Pablo Cruise, has recorded with Barry Manilow, Ronnie Laws, Air Supply and Shelby Lynne. Tony Braunagel has worked with Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal, Bette Midler and Eric Burdon, among many others.

The music includes great melodies (“Take Care of My Heart” and “Through The Shadows”), upbeat and soaring tempos (“Everything’s Alright” and “Sunrise Dance”), and gently-jazzy numbers (“Tell You That I Love You” and “Full Moon”). This music is excellent for relaxation and stress-relief, intimate moments, soul-searching, and quiet dinner parties.
Rating: Excellent
Openings by Nick DeCesare
- posted by Sandy on 1/24/2017

Acoustic pianist Nick DeCesare (pronounced dee-chez-uh-ray) believes his gentle solo piano music can make a difference in people’s lives by helping listeners relax, relieve stress, calm down emotionally, become introspective and slow down to enjoy life more. His debut album, OPENINGS, is filled with beautiful piano melodies.

This recording will thrill fans of new age music and neo-classical (there are even hints of jazz too). DeCesare received his Bachelors degree in Piano Performance from Duquesne University. One of his biggest influences is Keith Jarrett and especially the ground-breaking solo piano album THE KOLN CONCERT from 1975.

OPENINGS features strong melodic content played with style and grace. It will satisfy anyone who loves solo piano music.
Rating: Excellent
Eternity by Anaya
- posted by Candice Michelle on 1/17/2017
Anaya Music - Eternity
Brazilian-born composer and vocalist, Anaya, has previously recorded several albums of new age music. Having long dreamed of recording alongside a live symphony orchestra, her dream eventually came to fruition on her latest album, titled Eternity, where she is joined by the lovely arrangements of the Prague Live Symphony Orchestra. Comprised of seven compositions spanning nearly thirty-three minutes, all but two pieces (“For Love” and “Once in Time”) were co-composed and arranged with Steve Salani.

“Dharma” opens the album with a majestic orchestral arrangement of strings, woodwinds and brass instruments. Possessing a distinctively cinematic quality, the piece immediately brings to mind that of a fairytale movie. “New Skies” ensues with the sound of running water, perhaps from a stream or river, and is easily my favorite composition herein. Bearing subtle resemblances to the music of both Deuter and Kitaro, the piece is led by a stringed-instrument with a melody that possesses an East Asian flavor. Hazy piano droplets are interspersed among ethereal synthesized chords like balmy mists rising up from a spring, bringing images to mind of a beautifully serene Japanese garden. “Cosmos” follows next with a symphonic arrangement that unfolds in a procession-like manner, where it’s accompanied by the sound of a light snare, along with bells, chimes and tribal-esque percussion that builds towards the end. The next piece, “For Love”, is reminiscent of a romantic novel or period film, with its tenderly warm and sentimental quality. It is followed by the more fantasy-like “Love’s River”, which is introduced by a buoyant keyboard melody. A dreamily waltzing piece that dances and sways throughout, it mimics the motion of sailing along a river, while also bringing to mind that of watching a decades-old stage performance. Named for the living earth, “Gaia” follows with a blend of gently symphonic and environmental nature sounds that paint images of a paradisal landscape. Wrapping up the album is “Once in Time”, a sweepingly cinematic composition led by a full orchestra of string and brass instruments that eventually swell to a close.

While this album is based upon a theme of cosmic spirituality, it should be noted that the compositions herein are neither descriptive of meditation or space music. Rather, this is definitive new age neoclassical music that conveys images of epically visual and emotional scenes, as if musically narrating a movie. A simply delightful recording that will likely appeal to many fans of both new age and neoclassical music, Eternity is wrapped in the glowing essence of beauty, peace and positivity! ~Candice Michelle (
Rating: Very Good +
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