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Journeyscapes by Candice Michelle
Other reviews from Journeyscapes by Candice Michelle:
  Metamorphosis by Nouveau Papillon, reviewed by Candice Michelle on 9/19/2017
  Dancing on Water: Solo Piano Improvisations in A432 by Peter Kater, reviewed by Candice Michelle on 9/6/2017
  Beyond Earth: Bowed Dronescapes by Scott Cole, reviewed by Candice Michelle on 9/5/2017
<<-later reviews | earlier reviews->>   <<- all reviews ->>
The Road Home
By Peter Calandra
Label: PCM
Released 7/1/2017
The Road Home tracks
1. The New Dawn  
2. Mi Amore  
3. Morning Dove  
4. The Road Home  
5. Night Into Day  
6. The Cat's Eye  
7. Points In The Sky  
8. Nocturnal Moods  
9. At First Sight  
10. Distant Dreams  
At the crossroads of new age and smooth jazz!
Prolific composer and keyboardist, Peter Calandra, has been immersed in the New York City music scene for most of his life. Having scored numerous films as well as written music for Broadway and multiple television broadcasts, additionally, he has released several solo albums. Inspired by a recent cross-country trip, The Road Home features ten exquisite compositions variably spanning new age, cinematic, contemporary instrumental and smooth jazz styles of music. Showcasing his musical virtuosity, Calandra plays piano, melodica, synthesizers, acoustic guitar and percussion on various tracks throughout.

“The New Dawn” phases in slowly with outstretched synthesizer chords and wordless ethereal vocals, courtesy of Joy Askew, hovering just above like morning sunrays peering upon the horizon. Gentle yet soaring, the piece eventually culminates into a grand orchestral arrangement, effectively signaling a journey that lies ahead. “Mi Amore” follows next and is one of my favorites. Conveying the mood of a romantic evening, it seemingly paints an image of moonlight reflected upon the water. This particularly lovely piece weaves smooth jazz elements into a hazy atmosphere that’s laced with melodic piano and acoustic guitar underscored by a gentle groove. The ensuing “Morning Dove” beautifully highlights Calandra’s more new age musical side with its misty tones, angelic vocalizations and softly roving piano. A heavenly piece that feels like taking a moment of pause, it imparts the peaceful solitude of being alone in a small cathedral or chapel as an incandescent stream of light pours through stained-glass window. “The Road Home” follows next, another gently percussive piece infused with jazzy overtones, which is further characterized by pronounced bass guitar and warmly flowing piano. My favorite composition herein is “Points in the Sky”, which seemingly serves as the nocturnal counterpart to “Morning Dove”. Guided throughout by an underlying drone, overarching cinematic strings and choral intonations cast a soft illumination upon piano notes as they drift along the soundscape. Here I’m reminded of being in a desert at twilight as dusk begins to reveal constellations in the sky. The solo piano piece, “Distant Dreams”, concludes the album in a jazzy piano bar fare. Exuding an elegant warmth, it seemingly casts sentimental reflection upon a cherished memory.

A wonderful follow-up to Peter Calandra’s likewise enjoyable First Light album, The Road Home overall manages to retain a cohesive theme and mood while highlighting his impressive musical dexterity and stylistic range. Subtly shifting throughout like the changing landscape and weather of a cross-country trip – from gently rhythmic and joyful in parts to atmospheric and serene in others – The Road Home will likely appeal, especially, to those who enjoy contemporary instrumental music that sits right at the crossroads of new age and smooth jazz!
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by Candice Michelle on 7/11/2017
 
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