Sunday, September 25, 2011

CD Review – Eclectic Eve, by Christopher Lapina

For his new album, keyboardist Christopher Lapina has imagined a woman’s life journey for which he has provided the soundtrack. And like a true motion picture score, the music ranges through a variety of cinematic moods, from high drama to subtle emotion to inner reflection. One track is even composed solely of percussion, as an actual soundtrack might include.

Even without the story, the music stands on its own. Although Lapina serves as the primary composer and plays piano and synthesizer, he lays the foundation for rather than dominates the proceedings. As a result, the other musicians get a chance to shine, giving the impression of a full instrumental band instead of a solo act with accompaniment.

Reflecting the character progression in Lapina’s story, the music also embodies various styles and genres, including jazz, new age, and fusion. Standout tracks include “Highland Return,” “My Darling Esmerelda,” and my personal favorite, “Lucy Turns Eclectic,” which is sort of an all-out jazz doo-wop, for lack of a better term. I’d love to hear a whole album just in the style of “Lucy Turns Eclectic.”

Whether you want to hear an interesting soundtrack to an interesting story or just want to listen to some fine contemporary jazz-new age instrumental fusion, this CD fits the bill perfectly.

--Raj Manoharan

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