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Eclipse by Frore
- posted by Richard Gurtler on 2/27/2019
Eclipse by Frore & Shane Morris
"70-minute 'Eclipse' is another remarkable album, as much triumphant as was 'Blood Moon'!!! And keep in mind, the sound quality is again superb!

In April 2015, Paul Casper alias Frore and Shane Morris released on Spotted Peccary their first collaborative milestone entitled "Blood Moon", which certainly belonged to the highlights of 2015. Two and a half years later, both these hugely talented and crafted US soundcarvers returned again, this time with "Eclipse". Out since November 17th 2017, again on respected Spotted Peccary label, the CD comes in a 4-panel disc eco wallet, it's mastered by Ben Cox of Lotuspike fame and designed by Daniel Pipitone.

Nearly 9-minute "Anima" reveals this thrillingly rewarding journey with masterful blend of vivaciously galloping percussive tapestries, primarily driven by hypnotic frame drum mastery, and radiantly charged cyber-shamanic vistas, while intangible didge calls are hovering above. A top-notch, all-inclusive overture precisely displayed by its title! Primordial acoustic reflections on "Calling Down The Sun" soothingly commingle with balmily drifting expanses, before gradually metamorphosing into artificially infused tribal splendor. Mesmerically languish, yet engrossingly piquant. Another magnificent blend of primitive acoustics and state of the art electronics, bravo, gentlemen!!! "Feather And Claw" attracts with its gently cadenced percussive guiding juxtaposed with enveloping flute narrations. "Stone Arch", as indicated by its name, shifts into gracefully panoptic grandness, where hidden dramatic nuances continuously commingle with glimpsing meditative quietudes. "Shadow Medicine" is propelled by laid-back high-tech grooves with persistently glistening scenario, guarded by above gliding ethereal flute moans. "Nomadic Dreaming", at 10:47 the longest piece on "Eclipse", immediately carves eternally helixing futuristic images, lushly blossoming, profoundly spellbinding, electrifyingly kaleidoscaping and exquisitely opiating, what a magnum opus!!! A headphone listening quickly unlocks the gates to the cyber-tribal paradise, obviously a Hall of Fame performance is exhibited here, hats off to Paul Casper & Shane Morris!!! The next track, "Changing Seasons", meticulously merges primeval didge and flute drones, growls and murmurs with steadfastly exhilarating percussive ambrosias, while delightfully longing and sweepingly awe-inspiring panoramic time-lapses are riding atop. Wow, I am blown away again by such creatively spirited insignias, this composition without doubt deserves just the same praised spot as its predecessor. So another standing ovation for both gifted protagonists!!! "A Lonely Path" is carried through subterraneanly monochromatic drones into stunningly sonorous ancient landscapes, where abundantly organic subtleties inconspicuously permeate along with prodigiously engulfing woodwind curlicues. Splendid conclusion indeed!

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Rating: Excellent
World Café by Ron Korb
- posted by R J Lannan - Artisan Music Reviews on 2/22/2019
World Cafe
Ron Korb
World Café

You might as well book a flight right now. After hearing flutist Ron Korb’s newest release World Café, you’ll want to be somewhere. His new music is full of energy and a lot of romance. So get two tickets. World Café is Ron’s follow up to his wonderful album Asia Beauty. Where Asia Beauty had lots of nuances and intangibles, this one is defiantly organic and ethnic. The twelve tracks have flute, guitar, piano, and many other acoustics to set the mood of sunny days, sultry nights, and everything in between.

The recording opens with Bailar Conmingo and you cannot not help yourself. You want to get up and dance, hold someone close, and swirl until you are dizzy. Ron’s flute leads you into a world of high spirits and joie de vivre. There is something warmly familiar about this tune.
Hear the accordion as it echoes through the streets. Imagine yourself in a tiny café on la Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, shoulder to shoulder with other pairs of lovers. You order something quick because you want the waiter to go away. You can’t wait to stare into her eyes. Ah, such is romance. You can feel it in the song Sans Regret. You touch her hand and your heart dances to the music. Ron uses this theme on three different variations on the album.

Island Life was right up my alley. I spent a lot of time in Hawaii and the vibe of Ron’s song put me smack dab on the Big Island driving around on a sunny afternoon just looking for the right beach. Ron’s ocarina makes the song jaunty and fun.
My favorite on Ron’s album is called Patagonia. The music captures the diversity of a little explored land. Patagonia must be South America’s best kept secret. No TV commercials, no radio ads, but it is one of the most mysterious places on earth. It has ancient trees, dinosaurs, and glaciers and that’s just for starters. It also has the brightest stars that you can ever see. The mountains are high, the wine is sweet, and life is good. All that? Well, I heard that in the music. Kudos to the guitarist.

New Orleans starts out with a rumble of drums like something out of the sixties (Let there Be Drums – Sandy Nelson). Lots of energy, lots of hoopla. It’s a swing tune. This anachronistic bebopper has some great piano courtesy of Bill Evans countered well with bass by Steve Lucas. It is testament to a city overloaded with electricity at any given hour. Thanks to Larry Crowe for the drumming. Another favorite.
Head south next. Way south. Deplane in Rio de Janeiro and hear the song, Carnival. Ron’s tune is full of excitement and cheerfulness. The Spanish guitars dance with the flute to give life to the music. It is a never ending celebration to a place where life is lived to its fullest. When the last note sounded, I pushed repeat.

Sans Regret Reprise and Sans Regret Finale are variations with more accordion and piano. I can understand why Ron kept using the themes as it represents to best of times, but hidden in the notes is a sadness that is left unsaid.

As in Asian Beauty Ron Korb goes all out on every track, putting in more emotion, more complexities, and more feeling than he has to. There is not much that is subtle about World Café. It is celebratory expression of life. I liked it for its diversification. It is music that is applicable in many parts of our world. It liked it for its vitality. Life should be like that all the time or when we can make it so. Highly recommended.

Rating: Excellent
Canyon Shadows by Joanne Lazzaro
- posted by R J Lannan - Artisan Music Reviews on 2/22/2019
Canyon Shadows
Joanne Lazzaro and Dreamcatcher
Katherine Hoover – Canyon Shadows

The Complexity of Six Finger Holes

Well known flutist Joanne Lazzaro and her band Dreamcatcher offer an evocative performance on some of the most complex music ever heard. Lazzaro and friends take on the multifaceted music of the late composer Katherine Hoover on their latest release Canyon Shadows. Hoover was a recognized flutist and composer based in New York City. Canyon Shadows – a five movement Suite for flute, Native American flute and world percussion, contains subtexts from nature, Native American music, and medieval elements. This is her music, originally written for the Grand Canyon Music Festival in 1999, but never recorded until this world-premiere recording. Lazzaro who is somewhat of a perfectionist herself seems to extract many of the nuances of Hoover’s compositions, some hidden and some obvious. However, Joanne does not do this alone. She had the competent help of Dreamcatcher, consisting of Terry Wolff on jazz flute and Dean Hinckley on percussion. Together they make music that resounds from the valleys, bounces off the skies, and ends up deep in our spirits. The album consists of two sections. The “concert version” of Canyon Shadows is five tracks of compelling Native American and ethnic fare with complexities and animation woven together into a musical mantle of natural beauty. And the Nature Mix Bonus Tracks offer the three slow tracks with different perspectives compliments of Joanne Lazzaro.
The opening track, Searching, seems to have a vein of mystery about it. Its very essence seems to come out of the mists and envelop the listener, warm and cool, far and distant. Lazzaro and Wolff form a duet of complementary ambient echoes. Are they searching for each other or for something more?
Moving In has a lively cadence, a bit of a march of you will, but it is a sunny, eclectic tune with a bit if dissonance about it. The two flutes dance around each other as if they are challenging each other for dominance. The singularity settles out as harmony regains its place. It is the music of changes, beginnings, and consequences.
Echo epitomizes the kind of Native American flute music with which most people are familiar. Sometimes warbling, sometimes distant, it is the sound that bounces off the canyons and ascends into the universe(s). It is too short for my liking, but in it, Hinckley gets to add his distinctive sound.
Tom toms create the beat in the tune Celebration. The tune is not as high spirited as I would have thought, but the festivity may be beyond the sound that I am hearing. There is certainly a regaling of the spirit that goes along with this animated theme.
Rattles and what sounds like a fanfare opens the tune Dusk and there are variations of this song on the album. Lazzaro and Wolff offer dual polyphony in a movement that is sometimes lighthearted, but otherwise intricate in its structure. Their timing is faultless.
It opens with thunder. Dusk - Desert Nightfall Mix although a variation on the previous theme, seemed very different to me and it was my favorite on Canyon Shadows. This track for some unknown reason put me in mind of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf in where instruments take on the life of their characters. In this last track you can hear the coyote as he roams through the darkness, not ready to end his day just yet. A thunder storm comes from the west and rain falls heavily to the earth. There are extraordinary musical conversations in this melody. Every member of the trio breathes life into this story.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful cover art for this album. Erica Fareio’s illustration is a wonderful textured line drawing with bold colors and plays on light and shadow that complement the music inside.
Joanne Lazzaro and company have transformed Katherine Hoover’s elaborate compositions into a palatable and pleasurable work. What is has is equilibrium. It is like a triangular prism balancing on a single point of light. The symmetry makes its own unique sound in the universe.
Rating: Excellent
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