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Forever Christmas by David Lanz
- posted by Keith MuzikMan Hannaleck on 12/5/2015
You Will Feel That Is Your Reality
David Lanz & Kristin Amarie are frozen in time with their release Forever Christmas. The recording was released last November and rings true a year later and certainly will well beyond that. After all what is time but a ticking clock? Good music is timeless, and this particular album is a thing of beauty and grace to usher in one of the most sacred Holidays celebrated the world over.

Lanz is a world renowned pianist and the talented vocalist Amarie become one on Forever Christmas. The two artists are also life partners and that bond is evident in their musical partnership. The synergy and flow of this music is exceptional.
The music presented is traditional, new age and classical all fused together to make a non-traditional listen. I mean that in a very positive way. This is not what you are hearing blaring over the speakers every year at your local retail store. This music is precise with a lot meaning. It is enlightening and relaxing and in the same instance as uplifting as Holiday music could possibly be.

The title track leads the way into the magical time of Christmas. It is not only special to children but to everyone that celebrates it. People gather to exchange gifts and show their love and appreciation for each other. The music itself is a celebration.

As you make your way through this newly discovered Holiday classic, a traditional ageless song is revisited. “Silent Night” is one of the most memorable tunes ever crafted and David and Anmarie do it justice. The piano is delicate and inviting and Amarie sounds like the angel singing it, bringing with it the light of love and creation with every breath. This is a magnificent rendition that I will not forget.

Then there is always the one instrumental that catches my ear, lifts my spirit and moves me. That track was “What is Christmas.” David’s piano playing is superb. As his fingers glide across the ivory keys as the meaning of the season and the Holidays consume you.

Christmas is forever and with one listen to Forever Christmas you will feel that is your reality, at least for as long as you are listening. Alternatively, if you decide to carry those feelings and meanings with you every day then this can serve a twofold purpose. This kind of music makes us all realize how important friends and family are and if you let the music flow through you so will the spirit of giving and the Holiday.

Key Tracks: Forever Christmas, Silent Night, What is Christmas (instrumental)

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck- New Age Music Reviews Founder
December 5, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews
Rating: Excellent
Encantado by Jim Stubblefield
- posted by Steve Sheppard, One World Music Radio on 12/4/2015
Vibrant, excellent guitar, well performed
The latest release by Jim Stubblefield really shows what a great musician he is, the starting piece is a superb example of this mastery and not only in the Latin style either; there is a distinct eastern feel to this song Beyond the Horizon. It’s always good to make your intent with the opening track and Stubblefield does it with great panache.
Puesta Del Sol (For JDZ) is right back in Incendio country and is simply thrilling, a rhythmic beat moves our hips and also very timely for us as were currently watching the December sunset from our studio window.
Across the Burning Sands, the skill of Stubblefield creates a stunning backdrop to this amazing musical vista.
Cielo Azelu is next with a whole new energy flowing through the music, Stubblefield’s guitar manifests a really sensual arrangement indeed. The melody here is quite clever and contains a mixture of a sultry moodiness with great skill.
On Highland Dreams (For Fiona) the strings do a slow dance with Stubblefield’s guitar in this almost Celtic like procession of a composition, there was so much going on in this piece that I am going to treat myself to multiple listens, as I would advise you do the same also. There is also a superb electric guitar break towards the last quarter of the track that adds a great depth and purpose to the arrangement.
Odyssey of Fire is my favourite track, for me this says everything about Jim Stubblefield, red hot guitars, both acoustic and electric, a really fast paced eastern rhythm with some amazing percussion. Vocals, power, the magic of the danceable beat and this is simply beyond awesome, and it’s Stubblefield at his ultra-best.
Shadow and Light has that expected Latin feel we have all come to know so well from Stubblefield, but over the years the master musician has created such a flowing performance and inspiringly perfect style that you cannot fail to be impressed.
We now move to the piece called Corazon De Fuego, which I believe translated means heart of fire; this has a really moving and danceable energy about it, but also a depth of deep passion that burns deep within the music, pay careful attention to the sublime bass that starts the track off.
Phrygian Suite. Op 1 is the longest piece off the album and is a real masterful arrangement that will take you on a musical journey you may never wish to come back from. Stubblefield also employs the services of another friend Mark Barnwell, on this incredibly stunning suite. It’s just one more deeply sultry and moody composition that contains some stunning musical artistry within, with some appropriate vocalisations Jim Stubblefield has created a very classy opus of grandeur that deserves a rousing standing ovation, come the end of the piece.
The final track we are gifted is a stunning track to go home with, it’s called Terra E Sole, this is simply brilliant, what a wonderful way to depart the album. A composition that is both sensitive and charming and has a little expression of reflection built into the weave of the composition too.
Jim Stubblefield is not only an outstanding guitarist, he is a superb composer and over all a musician of great quality, as such, Encantado is an absolute must purchase, your musical library will breathe a sigh of relief at this wonderfully vibrant, but soulful collection of extremely well performed and produced arrangements.
Rating: Excellent
Elders & Ancestors, Music for a Healing Space by Agrelia's Castle
- posted by Steve Sheppard, One World Music Radio on 11/26/2015
An excellent album, well performed
From great suffering, sometimes comes great beauty, from great hardship, sometimes comes pure clarity, and after facing the abyss of cancer, April Brown began a journey that will move many to tears and touch the hearts and minds of those whom she comes into contact with along her path.
Her personal journey through Cancer is somewhat similar to the one I spent with my late wife, upon her diagnosis I began a Cancer journey with her to that would lead to flying half way across the world and working with Native American Shaman and the energies of our elders and ancients.
April’s path has taken her to a new realm, mine to another part of the planet entirely, but I am sure that many will find the comfort and beauty in this album in the same way I know she would have done and I do now, for we are witnessing in music the completion, the mending of the sacred hoop so to speak by the very essence of its existence.
To start the album with the title track, Elders and Ancestors, alone shows a brave intent and that intent delivers a composition that gently dances with the resonances of life though its tempo. Browns calming vocals and flute are pure magic here and the arrangement floats and hovers like a swallow over a warm summer stream.
The genres this release bridges are many, but the subtleties of the production are outstanding, I found track two so very appealing, the keyboards of Paul Brown creating a very illustrative mood on the piece called Adrift were superb, the chimes and the delicate but so relevant natural sounds, added so much depth to this arrangement.
Within the second long form composition called Breathe, something so beautiful walks this way, the wind gently blows around our imaginations, a wind chime finds its self-dancing with birdsong, by the time the acoustic guitar joins the fray we have one quite addictive composition, that is going to be a constant playback for many of you dear reader. April Brown’s spirit here on this track really seems to have caught the light and free energies of life’s rich pattern and she gifts us some charming vocals as the arrangement picks up in tempo, but always retaining its poise along the way.
Spirit Dreaming drifts like an autumn mist across our senses, our minds now dear listener are calmed beyond all expectation and our imagination on this track can really float in total safety. The Native American flute is played here with so much emotion; one can almost hear its echoes through the woods and resonating within the halls of the ancestors and ancients themselves! The ethereal keyboards and vocalizations contained deep in this track are simply incredible and deeply moving.
Sonnet is another fine example of Brows intent to honour her ancestors, this she does with great charm and skill in abundance, the flute once again drives a wild and open narrative in the music and one could easily see both of our musicians standing looking out over a landscape, during a sunset that is so overwhelming. Once again the song itself is so very moving, listen carefully to the lyrics, Sonnet could be regarded as mournful, which it is, but for me it has an element of a certainty, that life carries on regardless written deep into the weave of the composition.
The penultimate track is called Wayfaring Stranger (Trad). We sit around a camp fire, dear reader, the sticks of damp wood crackle and snap within its heat and fire sprites dance on the tip of the red embers, an owl sits guard over the night cloak that shrouds the deep forest landscape and then one of the most beautiful flute refrains that I have ever heard, hits our senses, it’s incredibly moving and so is the organ of Paul Brown. This is one amazing song, Mike Ferris features on vocals on this one and delivers us a song that has the motive power of a thousand hearts all beating at once!
I wondered in deep thought, just how can you end an album this good? Each piece on this release is beyond beauty and completely so off the scale musically, how do you finish?
With a piece called Agrelias Lullaby of course. I am grateful for many things in my life, one of them right now is that I am lucky enough to be sitting here listening to this unbelievable release, this track flows so wonderfully, a storm thunders across distant mountains, but the keyboards offer a tone of hope and as such the Browns finish off an album release with beauty, serenity and with great honour to the ancestors and elders along the way.
I’m going to keep it simple, if you don’t have the good sense to buy this album, you’re likely to miss out on one of the most genuine slices of real music you’re ever likely to hear. Elders and Ancestors, is an album that we call one of a kind, it has been manifested from the love of reality, through the darkness of the moment and into the light of a new awareness, superbly produced, deeply moving and wonderfully and honestly performed, I cannot rate this album high enough, get it now!
Rating: Excellent
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