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reviewed Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digi.... December 18, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again
"Immersing yourself in the environment of a real record store where music is celebrated and cherished adds real value to the experience of buying music. In some ways, that retail experience is as important as the music." -- quote from John Mellencamp page 27      In the course of my lifetime I have spent thousands of hours in record stores. Collecting 45's, LP's …
reviewed The Essential Kinks. December 06, 2014
posted in Music Matters
The Essential Kinks
TRACK LISTING    Disc One  1. You Really Got Me (from You Really Got Me, 1964)  2. Stop Your Sobbing (from You Really Got Me, 1964)  3. All Day and All of the Night (from Kinks-Size, 1965)  4. Tired of Waiting For You (from Kinks-Size, 1965)  5. Nothin' In This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl (from Kinda Kinks, 1965)  6. …
reviewed Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva .... December 06, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics
I just finished sampling Aretha's highly anticipated new album "Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics". I take no joy in saying this but I found this disc to be painful to listen to from start to finish. In my opinion her vocal prowess has diminished dramatically. The chronic health issues that Aretha has been dealing with over the past several years appear to have taken their toll. I was …
reviewed Neil Diamond: Melody Road. December 06, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Neil Diamond: Melody Road
The Neil Diamond that I know and love was the gifted young singer/songwriter who recorded all of those great sides for Bert Burns' Bang Records back in the 1960's. It was pretty much just Neil and his guitar back then. The tunes were simple, upbeat and thoroughly entertaining. Over the years Neil Diamond seemed to drift further and further away from his roots. Now in 2014 producers Don Was and Jacknife …
reviewed My Dream Duets by Barry Manilow. December 06, 2014
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My Dream Duets by Barry Manilow
"Just what the world needs" I thought..."another 'Duets' album". I have never been a big fan of this concept but a few of the artists Barry Manilow chose to include in this project positively intrigued me. First and foremost there is the incomparable Frankie Lymon. In my opinion "Goody Goody" is one of the greatest rock & roll numbers of all time. Then there is the great Dusty Springfield, Andy Williams …
reviewed She & Him: Classics. December 06, 2014
posted in Music Matters
She & Him: Classics
Prior to the release of "Classics" I was totally unfamiliar with the song stylings of the indie duet known as She & Him. The track listing sure looked promising so I decided that this was a disc that might just be worth checking out. And for the most part I was not disappointed. "She & Him: Classics" offers up a bakers' dozen of light and breezy favorites culled from the past eight decades. Among …
reviewed My Dream Duets by Barry Manilow. November 16, 2014
posted in Music Matters
My Dream Duets by Barry Manilow
I love every song on this duets album. I have never of the song "Zing Goes The Strings Of My Heart" by Judy Garland before. I have never heard of the Jimmy Durante song "The Song's Gotta Come From The Heart". These two songs are special to me because I've heard of them before. I want to thank Barry for sharing the music of these two music legends on this album.The musical …
reviewed It's The Girls. November 04, 2014
posted in Music Matters
It's The Girls
As 2014 draws to a close a number of exciting new releases have grabbed my attention.  The latest is Bette Midler's first studio album in eight years.  "It's The Girls" celebrates the "girl group" sound that has captivated America for decades.  What an awesome record!  This just might be Bette Midler's best album since "The Divine Miss M" …
reviewed Transend by Philip Wesley. October 14, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Transend by Philip Wesley
Transcend   Philip Wesley   2014 / Autumn Music Productions   52 minutes      "Transcend" is the seventh solo piano release from pianist/composer Philip Wesley and is, essentially, Part 3 of the album series that began with Wesley’s 2008 best-seller, "Dark Night of the Soul" and its 2012 follow-up, "Hope Endures." …
reviewed The Healing Muse by Ron Clearfield. October 12, 2014
posted in Music Matters
The Healing Muse by Ron Clearfield
The Healing Muse   Ron Clearfield   2014 / EverSound   1 hour      "The Healing Muse" is a compilation of the most soothing, uplifting and healing pieces from cellist, composer and keyboardist Ron Clearfield’s three previous albums, "Music In the Silence" (2006 - six tracks), "Time On Earth" (2000 - three tracks), …
reviewed Reflections At the Piano by Daniele P.... October 09, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Reflections At the Piano by Daniele Pagliuca
Reflections At the Piano   Daniele Pagliuca   2014 / Daniele Pagliuca   37’20”      "Reflections At the Piano" is the debut solo piano album by Italian pianist/composer Daniele Pagliuca. Self-taught as a pianist and as a composer, Pagliuca’s music is influenced by classical composers such as Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, and …
reviewed Omkara: The Sound of Divine Love by R.... October 08, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Omkara: The Sound of Divine Love by Rupam Sarmah
Omkara: The Sound of Divine Love   Rupam Sarmah   2014 / Rj International   105 minutes      "Omkara: The Sound of Divine Love" by Rupam Sarmah is an extraordinary project both musically and therapeutically. Collaborating with a very impressive group of musicians from India and all over the world, some of them Grammy Award winners, Sarmah …
reviewed Influence (2014 Remaster) by Tim Neumark. October 06, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Influence (2014 Remaster) by Tim Neumark
Influence, Solo Piano, Op. 3 (2014 Remaster)   Tim Neumark   2014/ Tim Neumark   49’40”      "Influence, Solo Piano, Op. 3" is the newly-remastered edition of Tim Neumark’s 2009 release. Remastering smooths out some of the melodic and harmonic lines and makes the sound of the album consistent with Tim’s other releases. …
reviewed Influence (2014 Remaster) by Tim Neumark. October 06, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Influence (2014 Remaster) by Tim Neumark
Influence, Solo Piano, Op. 3 (2014 Remaster)   Tim Neumark   2014/ Tim Neumark   49’40”      "Influence, Solo Piano, Op. 3" is the newly-remastered edition of Tim Neumark’s 2009 release. Remastering smooths out some of the melodic and harmonic lines and makes the sound of the album consistent with Tim’s other releases. …
reviewed Ashokan Memories by Peter Calandra. October 05, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Ashokan Memories by Peter Calandra
Ashokan Memories   Peter Calandra   2013 / Pecamusic   58 minutes      "Ashokan Memories" is a collection of solo piano improvisations by pianist/composer Peter Calandra. Inspired by experiences and visions at his summer home in The Catskills/ Hudson Valley region of New York, each of the eighteen pieces was based on a “small idea” …
reviewed Filmworks by Jorge Granda. October 03, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Filmworks by Jorge Granda
Filmworks   Jorge Granda   2013 / Rosevil   43’26”      "Filmworks" is the fourth album released by Spanish composer Jorge Granda. Granda  specializes in music for film and visual media and his training includes lessons in various musical disciplines and studies in the fields of sound production and computer music. With twelve …
reviewed Bhakti by Paul Avgerinos. October 01, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Bhakti by Paul Avgerinos
Bhakti   Paul Avgerinos   2014 / Round Sky Music   67’25”      "Bhakti" is Grammy-nominated/ award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Avgerinos’ nineteenth album to date. Best-known for his ambient music, Avgerinos goes in a different direction with "Bhakti" (a Sanskrit word that means love and devotion). …
reviewed "You've Been A Friend To Me," The Tra.... September 30, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Honestly, I hate it when performers re-release something they’ve already released to the masses at large UNLESS (and here’s the kicker) it’s actually a re-recorded version with something that makes it worth the double-dip.  Thankfully, that’s what Canada’s Bryan Adams has done here on his THE TRACKS OF MY YEARS album release in issuing one new version of “You’re …
reviewed "God Only Knows," The Tracks of My Ye.... September 30, 2014
posted in Music Matters
Truth be told, there probably doesn’t exist a version of “God Only Knows” that I don’t appreciate on some level.  Lyrically, it’s one of those songs that’s probably as close to perfectly written as is humanly possible, and the original version sung by The Beach Boys (I hate to say) is one of my least favorites.  I don’t fault The Beach Boys for that; …
reviewed "Down on the Corner," The Tracks of M.... September 30, 2014
posted in Music Matters
One of the difficult things about one professional artist covering another professional artist’s top tunes is that most folks end up viewing it as little more than what I’ve often called “professional karaoke.”  Too often, nothing really new or different is brought to the track, and instead the audience is left with … well … like I said: “professional …
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