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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
  Under The Stars by Joanne Lazzaro, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 3/11/2016
  Portraits In Season by Charles Denler, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 2/28/2016
  Safe in Your Arms by Scott Cossu, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 2/26/2016
<<-later reviews | earlier reviews->>   <<- all reviews ->>
Rear View
By Perpetual Motion
Label: Self Released
Released 1/30/2017
Rear View tracks
1. Nova
2. Race of the Dolphin
3. Oasis
4. Jungle Spirits
5. Northern Lights
6. The Monarch's Journey
7. Blind Man's Bossa
8. Dreamcatcher
9. PasiĆ³n De La Luna
10. Jakeob's Pond
11. Harvest Moon
12. Zero Gravity
13. Something Else
Let Us Reflect
What started out as just a rehearsal date for two aspiring musicians became quite a journey. Classically trained violinist Josie Quick and long-time rock guitarist Tom Carleno have a unique association. Yes, they are partners in life, but that is not all of it. They have an exceptional sense of balance. Balance in composition, in performance, in timing, and in objectivity. You can hear it in every note, every nuance, every press on the fretboard, and every draw of the bow. Balance.
Their band is called Perpetual Motion and the new album is called Rear View. There are not a lot of violin/guitar duos out there. I checked. The unique combination of sound makes their songs fuller and harmonically richer. Rear View is a retrospective of Josie and Tom's music stretching back more than two decades. Over the years their style has metamorphosed into a wonderful "classical compliments jazz" experience. You can hear multi-genres in their music, but every song is a celebration of their time together. I've tried to make comparisons of their music to someone else, but frankly, the music is distinctive as far as tone and delivery go. Just barely, some earlier works of Penguin Cafe come to mind.

The tune Nova opens the show and what an animated tune it is. The music moves forward like a traveling feast. There is a feel of exuberance and elation. It would suffice as the theme song to any day you planned that had sunny skies and dusty back roads. It is the song for a new day.

In Race of the Dolphin Tom offers some great fretwork and Josie's violin adds the momentum for a sea adventure. Imagine if you will a sailboat out in the Pacific, the wind steady, the skies bluer than blue and the rush of briny water against the bow. Suddenly you are joined by a pod of dolphins who race with the boat, treating it like a nautical game. Every jump is a joy, every plunge a delight.

The sound of exotic birds and bustling insects opens the track Jungle Spirits. It has a Latin Jazz feel as do many of the other cuts on the recording. The hottest part of the day becomes the hottest music on the recording. The sinuous play of the violin intertwines with the acoustic guitar to make a pas de deux, jungle style. Josie's violin melody adds just a tang of mystery to the song.

The temperature suddenly shifts from hot to cold as we hear the muted ballad, Northern Lights. The terrain is stark and white for miles. The sun has deserted the sky and just when you think the earth completely lacks color you see the northern lights. The eerie, pale green-blue radiance is calming to the spirit, encouraging to the body, and soothing to the soul. This music, more so. The earth is full of magic.

Not everything that catches dreams is made from a willow hoop and leather thongs. Dreamcatcher is a favorite on Rear View. Its invisible musical web spreads out and latches on to every hope and dream you hold inside. Tom and Josie's tune has the timeless feel of lazy days and friendly nights. It is a lighthearted song that allows the mind to wander, boundless and carefree.

Pasion de la Luna had that animated Gypsy Swing vibe that would make Django Reinhardt happy. The moon makes humans do crazy things, but this particular moon's silvery light is the spark for romance. Looking into those deep brown eyes would make the strongest heart swoon, but holding that person close and dancing together, well that a whole other experience.

Jakeob's Pond was a likable, quirky tune and it quickly became a favorite. It has almost a Celtic intro, but then it transposes into something like Americana or folk. As I listened to the high-spirited concord, the thoughts of frogs and swallows, squishy mud between your toes, and a fun filled afternoon came to mind. It is the kind of day that makes nothing, but great memories.

All thirteen songs on Rear View seem to have a life of their own. Each song is a chapter that celebrates a union of hearts, minds and talents of two people that have music running in their veins. And all with the common element of balance. Let me close with the words of the poet Bob Dylan who said, "Art is the perpetual motion of illusion. The highest purpose of art is to inspire. What else can you do? What else can you do for any one, but inspire them?"

We are inspired.
Rating: Very Good +   Very Good +
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 9/7/2017
 
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