Sunday, June 29, 2014

CD Review – Novella: Ukulele Mosaique, by Andre Feriante

For those whose idea of ukulele music consists of Hawaiian hula chord playing, Andre Feriante casts those aspersions aside with his new genre-defying musical statement.

Trained by the master himself, Andre Segovia, Feriante is an accomplished and versatile classical, flamenco, and Spanish-style guitarist, and he brings those virtuosic sensibilities to the ukulele.

If I didn't know this was a ukulele album, I would have thought Feriante was playing traditional fingerstyle acoustic guitar. This is how unexpected, surprising, and original this album is, sounding nothing like typical ukulele music.

Feriante also ups the ante by performing each track with a different ukulele featuring anywhere from three to six strings.

If you think you're not into ukulele music, Andre Feriante just might change your tune.

--Raj Manoharan

Sunday, June 22, 2014

CD Review – Dreaming Time, by Forrest Smithson

If ever there was a CD for putting your cares aside and letting your subconscious drift into a blissful, dreamlike state, this is it.

This lush, ethereal synthesizer opus is one major musical suite divided into four title tracks distinguished by sequential number. The result is flexibility for the listener who may only be able to benefit from one musical therapy session at a time or can maximize use of the entire program.

The tunes and tones are entrancing and hypnotic and can be utilized as catharsis, non-intrusive background music, or just simply pleasant listening.

If your nerves need soothing or you just want to chill out, Forrest Smithson is your go-to guy.

--Raj Manoharan

Sunday, June 8, 2014

CD Review – Invitation From Within, by Ann Licater

The title says it all, as the music on this CD is so soft and penetrating it seems to emanate from your subconscious.

As quiet as the compositions are, they are yet dynamic in their structure and complex in their layers, resulting not only in an uplifting but also a thoroughly whole sound experience.

Ann Licater's wood and silver flutes are the primary ingredients that make up the sonic magic evident on this CD. Licater's musical vision is fully realized through a host of other key elements, including vocals by Licater and Liz Addison, electric bass by Peter Phippen, steel tongue drum by Phippen and Jason Introwitz, trumpet by Jeff Oster, piano by Ivar Lunde, hand-held quartz crystal bowls by Kathleen Farrell, Afro-Peruvian cajon percussion by David DiLullo, and conga by Introwitz.

This is a lush, luxurious album that provides soothing refreshment for the soul.

--Raj Manoharan