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In the Soft Light of Grace by David Nevue
- posted by R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews on 5/22/2019
in the soft light of grace
David Nevue
in the soft light of grace

I have known about solo pianist David Nevue’s music for more than fifteen years. As a matter of fact, he was the first New Age artist I ever saw in a live performance. I have been a fan ever since. As time passed we have both changed, but this is about him. David’s music has artistically metamorphosed from simple, dreamy and hopeful tracks into deep seated and faith based melodies that touch one’s heart on so many levels. And it can only get better from here. In the soft light of grace is David’s sixteenth album. It contains Thirteen tracks of contemporary solo piano musings and faith influenced tracks. The music is soft, calming and compelling. There is a new depth and innate beauty to this music. You can hear emotions and colors, stories and Divine inspiration.
Walking in Trust is a song of confidence. Confidence in the belief that you surrender voluntary and without doubts. And it is that confidence that makes you stronger. That allows you to do what needs to be done because your accomplishments are sanctioned by something greater that yourself. A few notes, as in a few small steps, opens the tune. But in the end we hear the whole journey.
The title tune, in the soft light of grace is the next track and a favorite. It begins tentatively, as if one is trying out the sound to see what will happen. Fortunately the melody comes together into a reverie of reverence and a picture of peaceful contemplation. If one could have a quiet celebration, then this would be perfect. The Christian concept of grace is mysterious and fleeting at times. Perhaps it is the tacit approval of one’s choices by an unseen God that is everywhere.
I liked the track title of the next tune, The Wind Blows Where It Wishes. It quite poetic and yet, there is a broodiness to the song that makes it perfect for this inclement spring day. The gray sky subdues the light. Trees sway and bend. Birds hide from the gusty meanderings. Last autumn’s remaining leaves skitter across the ground. David’s music wanders in our minds like that wind, taking things away, and bringing new things in.
Out of Pain, Comes Beauty has a melancholy air about it. A sweet sadness so to speak. David’s tune is, if anything, pensive from his sparing use of notes. Still the theme resonates deep within one’s soul. Not all pain is physical. There is anguish of the heart that tears and rends like unseen teeth and claws. Sometimes the healing takes what seems like forever. But one day, there is it and it is a thing of beauty. Goodbye to the pain.
Of late, David has been taking long walks in the forest. Perhaps Where the Water Flows is the results of that exploration. In his music you can hear the water coursing. You can imagine the ripple of sunlight on water and the steady movement. What you can’t see is the way water changes everything it touches. Land, rocks, and beach are eroded. And in the end, water makes its own course.
Even on the coldest day, the sun tells us we are alive. And even on the darkest night, the stars tell us we have hope. Luminous is Nevue’s musical poem to the power of light. Oh, and there is one more source, the light that comes from within. It burns brighter that any star and it is fueled by faith. The melody is soft and evocative. If there truly is light in music, then this tune glows.
David Nevue is an award winning pianist and composer who makes his home in Eugene, Oregon. He is also a father, a husband, an author and a producer. He wears many hats, but his most comfortable one is probably true believer. His strong connection with faith and family has generated a lot of wondrous music. in the soft light of grace is the culmination of the gifts he has received over the years. Highly recommended. – R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews
Rating: Excellent
Lilac Skies by Shambhu
- posted by R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews on 5/21/2019
Lilac Skies
Shambhu
Lilac Skies

Takes a goodly portion of jazz, add a little R & B, include a modicum of contemporary music, shake it up a bit and chill slightly and you end up with an amazing upbeat album by talented guitarist and composer Shambhu and his friends. It is called Lilac Skies. What gives the eye and the heart more pleasure than a lavender sky to start a day? Lilac skies at night perhaps. In either case, the fourth release by this jazz style guitarist is ten tracks of mellow music guaranteed to uplift, soothe, and entertain all. Joining Shambhu on the album are Kai Eckhardt on bass, Frank Martin on keyboards, Celso Alberti on percussion, the ubiquitous Premik Russell Tubbs on flute and sax, Alec Hamilton on the Hammond organ, and Kristin Hoffmann on background vocals. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
When dawn decides to grace the land, the combination of light and clouds makes for a marvelous display. Those lavender hues seem to please the soul like no other. Shambhu transforms those colors into musical notes with the same magic ability. The recording opens with the title tune Lilac Skies as a musical icebreaker so to speak. The animated tone of the album is well expressed in this first piece and it not only promises a blissful journey, but also delivers.
Next Shambhu features his unique fretwork on a melodic ballad called Unspoken Words. These are not utterances left unsaid, but words expressed in a language understood by soft smiles, bright eyes, and inspired hearts. This is a truly beautiful guitar piece with a languorous flow and mellifluous refrain. Dynamic guitar riffs and ornate piano counterpoise in the tune Blue Whispers. There’s something dark and steamy about this one. There is subliminal heat and heavy emotion disguised as a bluesy ballad like a Robin Ford song. This is one of the best of the best on Lilac Skies. Open Your Heart Sky is a sophisticated song with a lot of sentiment. It is one of those that easily becomes an anthem for the cause with its strong compositional elements, jazzy electric guitar, and complemental Hammond organ trimmings. Percussion and deep bass add the extras that pull it together into a unified theme. This is an invitation to soar, to live, and to breathe. You might as well surrender.
There are some terrific piano riffs in Inspired by the Night and Seeing You Again. Together, they are probably the most complex tunes on the album, but individually, they are like night and day. Inspired by the Night has some groovin’ bass licks by Eckhardt that drive the song forward. Your nocturnal encounter consists of a black, bountiful blanket of stars, some warm breezes, and don’t forget the most important component of all, thou. Seeing You Again is the final cut on Lilac Skies and presents a warm and quite fond farewell. It is celebration of sound with no regrets. The listener has partaken of the joyful menu and ends up a satisfied customer.
I liked every track for its diversity, yet its loyalty to the main theme, that of unwavering joy. Shambhu has done a brilliant job of not only offering up the music to keep your mood in a positive vibe, but also bringing together just the right talents to make it happen. Highly recommended - R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews
Rating: Excellent
Chapters by Stephen Wallack
- posted by Gena on 5/21/2019
NEW WALLACK PIANO ALBUM IS UNLIKE MOST OTHERS


There are all types of solo pianists, but very, very few like STEPHEN WALLACK, as you will hear when you listen to his debut album, CHAPTERS. His style is rhythmic, energetic, vibrant, often fast-paced and forceful. However, about half the tunes have tempo changes so they do have some slower sections in them. His passion for his music is obvious. He pours his heart and soul into every piece. While many solo piano recordings are soft and gentle and slow, Wallack takes a different tack as he makes his rhythmic patterns equal to his melodies and at a pace so that they take on a life of their own and propel the music into a special dimension of movement, force and emotional resonance not often heard using a single instrument. For piano lovers, this is a must-hear recording.
Rating: Excellent
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