Sunday, January 25, 2015

Publications and Interviews


TV Key (King Features Syndicate); CableView; PrimeStar; DirecTV: The Guide; Starlog; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; Star Trek: Voyager; IGN Sci-Fi (Web site)


Richard Dean Anderson; Amanda Bearse; Jim Belushi; Don Berliner; Ken Burns; LeVar Burton; Timothy Busfield; Kim Catrall; Robert Conrad; John De Lancie; Cleavant Derricks; Fred Dryer; Erik Estrada; Greg Evigan; Lou Ferrigno; June Foray; Jonathan Frakes (twice); Stanton Friedman; David Alan Grier; Mark Hamill; David Hasselhoff (before the interview, I got free tickets to his Jeckyll and Hyde Broadway show and an invitation to visit the DVD production studio before the show; I took my mom – that was a great night out); Richard Hatch (after the interview, the Battlestar Galactica star sent my mom a personally autographed photo); John Henson; Bruce Hornsby; Chuck Jones; Eartha Kitt; Stan Lee; Scott Leva (who told me that could be him in my profile picture); James MacArthur; Poppy Montgomery; Leonard Nimoy; Jerry O’Connell (also my NYU Tisch classmate); Edward James Olmos (who filled in at the last minute for James Gandolfini); Joe Pantoliano; Michael Piller; Sam Raimi; Ernie Sabella; Katey Sagal; John Schneider; William Shatner; Sinbad; Patrick Stewart; Andy Summers; Henry Thomas; Tim White; Larry Wilcox; Brian Wilson; Tom Wopat; Bill Wyman

CD Review – Arctic Sunrise, by Kerani

Inspired by various historic ice-laden expeditions, Kerani’s latest album is an epic musical journey that evokes visceral cinematic imagery, resulting in the feel and scope of a major motion picture soundtrack.

Kerani uses piano and synthesizers to create bold and grandiose themes that encompass the range of human endeavor, from vision and courage to determination and endurance. Contributing to the fullness and richness of Kerani’s “score” is the solid work of Joep Willems on cello, Wilfred Sassen on violin, Jan Mertens on flute, Lars Wachelder on horns, and Romain Van Beek on guitar.

This is a stirring and riveting album, a fitting testament to the triumph of the human spirit that will have listeners feeling as emboldened as the adventurous pioneers who inspired it.

--Raj Manoharan

Sunday, January 18, 2015

CD Review – Life Under Stars, by Carl Weingarten

This is simply one of the best guitar-led jazz/new age fusion albums ever recorded and released.

Carl Weingarten uses electric, acoustic, and slide guitars, dobro, and keyboards to weave a rich musical mosaic whose intricate threads also include bass (Michael Manring, Billie Duffey), keyboards (Kit Walker, Troy Arnett), flute (Barbara Else), trumpet and flugelhorn (Jeff Oster), electric and acoustic guitars (Pat Duffey), pedal steel (Robert M. Powell), drums and percussion (Celso Alberti, Brian Knave), and vocals (Lucy Allen, Tate Bissinger).

Weingarten traverses the sonic range of his instruments, yielding a masterwork in which the sounds are just as important as the music, without sacrificing the latter. The irresistibly catchy tunes are instantly memorable, such that they continue to resonate even after just one listen.

In terms of both guitar artistry and overall band musicianship, this album puts Carl Weingarten right up there with Andy Summers and Paul Speer.

--Raj Manoharan

Sunday, January 11, 2015

CD Review – Ritual, by Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai

When keyboardist Peter Kater and Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai bring their talents together, magic happens, the kind that results in a Grammy nomination for Best New Age Album.

The record features seven mystical originals composed by the two artists. Adding layers of nuance to the proceedings are Paul McCandless of Oregon fame on oboe and saxophone, Trisha Bowden on vocals, and Jaques Morelenbaum on cello.

The unique sounds created by Kater and Nakai and their guests result in a listening experience unlike any other.

--Raj Manoharan