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CD: The Gathering II: a new generation of musicians produced by Will Ackerman, the founder of Windham Hill Records and Tom Eaton Artist: Various artists Contact: www.cdbaby.com/cd/thegatheringii Its hard to believe that two years have passed since the release of the first compilation entitled The Gathering – a landmark album that garnered international radio airplay, and […]

Album: Landscapes of the Heart Artist: Gary Schmidt Website: http://www.apianist.com/ Pianist Gary Schmidt is one of blessed individuals in this world with the talent and the opportunity to follow his passion and create a life out of it, while at the same time uplifting others through his music and teaching. My recent interview with Gary […]

Indesterren by Tom Eaton

Album: Indesterren Artist: Tom Eaton Website: http://www.thomaseaton.com Tom Eaton is on a creative roll these days. It’s only been about 8 months since I wrote about his excellent last recording, Abendromen, here on Music and Media Focus. I certainly didn’t expect another new album so soon. I know that for myself, as a recording artist, […]

Abendromen by Tom Eaton

Album: Abendromen Artist: Tom Eaton Website: http://www.thomaseaton.com I don’t know how many albums I’ve written about in the past 5 years or so that have been engineered and/or co-produced by Tom Eaton – at least 30, I’d guess. In his role at the iconic Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont, working along side GRAMMY winning producer […]

CD: Patterns of Sun and Shade Artist: Kathryn Kaye Contact: http://www.kathrynkaye-music.com There can be little question as to the source of Kathryn Kaye’s creative inspiration. The beauty and mystery of nature have always played prominently in her artistry. Even the title of her latest release Patterns of Sun and Shade reveals her fascination with the […]

CD: The Gathering Artist: Various artists Contact: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thegathering5 While many musicians record albums, few are responsible for creating a music label with such a distinctively recognizable sound that it is practically a genre in itself. Windham Hill Records founder and Grammy-winning guitarist Will Ackerman is one of them.

Album: Matters of Balance Artist: Richard Carr Website: http://richardcarr.com/ It’s been exactly 3 years since I wrote about Richard Carr’s previous album Soul Rekindled and quite a number of changes have taken place in that time. Soul Rekindled was a solo piano representation of Richard’s spiritual journey after Hurricane Katrina, which affected him deeply having […]

Nightbound by David Lindsay

Album: Nightbound Artist: David Lindsay Website: http://davidlindsaymusic.com The term “second wind” might be a good one to describe the newly invigorated music career of acoustic guitarist David Lindsay. From 1985 to 2000, David recorded and performed in concert, as well as on live radio and TV in Canada. In the time between then and now, […]

CD: Fire In The Rainstorm Artist: Kori Linae Carothers Contact: http://www.koritunes.com/ One of the main focal points of the feature articles I write here on Music and Media Focus, in addition to highlighting the music on an album, is an in-depth profile of the artists themselves; their inspirations, motivations, background, and more. In the case […]

CD: Seasons of the Heart Artist: Renee Michele Contact: http://www.renee-michele.com After four solo piano albums, Oregon-based composer Renee Michele has expanded her circle by releasing a recording with a variety of accompanists to embellish her emotionally rich compositions. Seasons of the Heart reflects Renee’s determination to take her career to the next level by choosing […]

CD: Experiences Artist: Ryan Michael Richards Contact: http://www.ryanmichaelrichards.com Acoustic guitarist Ryan Michael Richards is part of a younger generation of instrumentalists to whom the torch has been passed, carrying on the legacy of virtuoso artists like Michael Hedges, Alex de Grassi, and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, who actually produced Ryan’s album at his […]

Action Moves People United

Album: Action Moves People United Artists: Various Website: http://www.actionmovespeopleunited.org In times like these, with so much focus on problems and division in the world, a project like Action Moves People United could not be more needed and timely. A huge number of dedicated people have come together to make this happen in conjunction with UNESCO […]

Album: Four Days In My Life Artist: Louis Colaiannia Website: http://louismusic.com/ Pianist/composer Louis Colaiannia’s latest release, Four Days In My Life was inspired by the time he recently spent enjoying the breathtaking natural beauty of the Oregon coast while on a concert tour. As with his previous album, Louis chose to record at the iconic […]

Album: In the Company of Clouds Artist: Erik Scott Website: http://erikscottbass.com/ On his stellar new release,  In the Company of Clouds, bassist/composer Erik Scott follows in the lofty footsteps of his critically acclaimed and chart-topping album Spirits, which I had the pleasure of writing about. With its blend of Erik’s signature melodic fretless bass along […]

Album: Longitudes & Latitudes Artist: Lawrence Blatt Website: http://www.lawrenceblatt.com It’s been about two and a half years since I had the pleasure of writing about guitarist/composer Lawrence Blatt’s excellent previous release, Emergence. That feature article contained a good deal of information about Lawrence’s musical background, so readers who may be interested are encouraged to check […]

Jeff Oster Live! by Jeff Oster

Album: Jeff Oster Live! Artist: Jeff Oster Website: www.jeffosterlive.com Live concert recordings are not as common in the Contemporary Instrumental genre as they are in some others, which makes Jeff Oster Live! something special. Although in reality, everything Jeff Oster does is pretty special. Writing about this album and performance is something I feel particularly qualified […]

Album: Dividing The Darkness Artist: Steve Rivera Website: http://steveriveramusic.com Many rivers flow to the sea, and likewise, many creative and spiritual tributaries in pianist/composer Steve Rivera’s life have led him to the level of consummate artistry he has achieved today. Steve is a gifted artist who has overcome a number of seemingly insurmountable challenges in […]

Album: Follow The River Home Artist: Jeff Pearce Website: http://www.jeffpearcemusic.com For many, the electric guitar has been a symbol of rock & roll and not usually thought of in terms of dreamy ambient soundscapes. But that is exactly what award winning recording artist Jeff Pearce has been creating with the instrument over the last 23 […]

Zia by Alexi Musnitsky

Album: Zia Artist: Alexi Musnitsky Website: www.aleximusnitsky.com While many contemporary music genres are aimed at and draw from younger people and performers, some in their teens or barely out of them, the new age genre tends to resonate primarily with a, shall we say, more “mature” crowd. In my work as a new age music journalist […]

Album: Everything In Between Artist: Jeffrey Seeman Website: http://jeffreyseeman.com In talking to and writing about many different musicians and recording artists, I always find it interesting to hear about their creative process. For some, while they are working on their music, they don’t want to listen to anything else in order to maintain a strict […]

Album: Where Butterflies Dance Artist: Ann Sweeten Website: http://www.annsweeten.com I’m always happy to receive a new recording from internationally renowned, chart-topping, award-winning pianist/composer Ann Sweeten. Previously, I’ve written about 3 of her earlier releases including 2 CD’s: In The Wake and Tapestries of Time, as well a DVD of a live performance entitled Live at […]

Album: Signature – Synchronicity Artist: Fiona Joy Website: http://fionajoy.com/ The new release by Australian pianist/composer Fiona Joy represents one of the more interesting and unique projects I’ve encountered recently in my 35 years as a new age music journalist. Just about one year ago, I wrote a feature article about her previous release, Signature – […]

Elysian by Lynn Yew Evers

Album: Elysian Artist: Lynn Yew Evers Website: http://lynnyewevers.com/ If there was ever a perfect Sunday morning album, Elysian, the new release from pianist/composer Lynn Yew Evers is it – although it is equally enjoyable any time or day of the week. Her gentle piano melodies, accompanied by a host of world-class musicians, caress and soothe […]

On Eagle Mountain by Todd Mosby

Album: On Eagle Mountain Artist: Todd Mosby Website: http://toddmosbymusic.com While many musicians create their own music, not many, I’m sure, create their own original instruments to play it on. However, guitarist Todd Mosby helped design and create one of the most fascinating guitar/sitar fusions I’ve ever seen. And man, can he play it! More on this […]

Grace by Joe Heinemann

Album: Gratitude Artist: Joe Heinemann Website: http://www.joeheinemann.com/ The Latin root of the word “gratitude,” means “pleasing.” The new album by pianist and composer Joe Heinemann, which bears the name Gratitude certainly lives up to the origin of its title, as the word “pleasing” provides a perfect description of the graceful and elegant melodies found within […]

There Was a Time by Kathryn Kaye

Album: There Was a Time Artist: Kathyrn Kaye Website: www.kathrynkaye-music.com With her fifth release, There Was a Time, pianist/composer Kathryn Kaye follows up a string of critically acclaimed and chart topping albums, including her most recent, Patterns of Sun and Shade. Here, she once again reprises her long-standing working relation with GRAMMY winning producer and Windham […]

Journey Home by Raphael Groten

Album: Journey Home Artist: Raphael Groten Website: http://raphaelgroten.com   Although Raphael Groten has been playing guitar for 30 years, Journey Home is his debut solo recording on the instrument. But as the saying goes: “Good things are worth waiting for,” and Raphael has made up for lost time by delivering this finely crafted album that […]

Songs of Leaving by Angelo Râpan

CD: Songs Of Leaving Artist: Angelo Râpan Contact: http://angelorapan.com/ The subtitle under Angelo Râpan’s name on his website reads: “Musical Versatility.” This is a bit of an understatement concerning the talents of this Romanian-born pianist/composer, whose musical repertoire expands beyond his classical roots, encompassing music theatre, opera, music for dance, Argentine tango, world music, and […]

Learning To Fly by Neil Tatar

CD: Learning To Fly Artist: Neil Tatar Contact: http://neiltatar.com While his new album is entitled Learning To Fly, guitarist/pianist/composer Neil Tatar is one of the most down to earth people you could meet – although his music certainly does have wings. Neil’s previous release and collaboration with cellist David Darling, Where Did The Time Go, was […]

CD: Letters From Far Away Artist: Heidi Breyer Contact: http://heidibreyer.com/ Just before beginning to write this feature article on pianist/ composer Heidi Breyer’s new release, Letters From Far Away, I went back and revisited the one I wrote about her excellent 2012 album Beyond The Turning. It concluded with a quote from Heidi that makes […]

CD: Spiritual Haven Artist: Russell Suereth Contact: http://www.russellsuereth.com/ Russell Suereth (pronounced sue – reth) is a composer/ recording artist with a vision. In fact, many visions, which we’ll soon see. As the title of his third and latest release implies, expressing and fostering universal spirituality is motivating force in his life and his music. The […]

next by Jeff Oster

CD: next Artist: Jeff Oster Contact: http://music.jeffoster.com Quick, can you name your top three favorite ambient flugelhorn players? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably no. All of which gives Jeff Oster, who also plays trumpet, a distinction that not many others can claim. As I wrote in my feature article on Jeff’s previous […]

Coming Home by Peter Jennison

CD: Coming Home Artist: Peter Jennison Contact: http://www.peterjennison.com/ I’ve had the opportunity and the honor to write about many albums that have been created in support of heartfelt humanitarian causes, and the latest release by Peter Jennison is certainly one of them. Entitled Coming Home, the album, in his words: “celebrates the wonderful homecomings between […]

CD: Mind Heart Fingers Artist: Trevor Gordon Hall Contact: http://www.trevorgordonhall.com   It’s not everyday that I have the honor of writing about “The World’s Premier Kalimbatarist.” That’s probably because, as far as I know, Trevor Gordon Hall may be the world’s only kalimbatarist. But that is what makes him special and stand out in a […]

CD: Mesa Verde Soundscapes Artist: Jill Haley Contact: http://jillhaley.com Mesa Verde Soundscapes is the latest release from wind instrument virtuoso Jill Haley, and is the third album in a series that centers on National Parks. I had the honor of writing about her beautiful Zion and Bryce Canyon Soundscapes CD, which was a sequel to […]

By A Wire: Jennifer DeFrayne

CD: By a Wire Artist: Jennifer DeFrayne Contact: http://www.facebook.com/jenniferdefraynemusic Forged in the fires of personal loss and tempered by the inspiration of overcoming, Jennifer DeFrayne has crafted musical gold from the lead of life’s challenges. Her sensitive piano melodies reflect a range of heartfelt emotions, from wistful remembrances to hope-filled dreams, and more. Produced by […]

CD: Passionata Artist: Denise Young Contact: http://deniseyoung.com/ For many people, the quest to find love and fulfill their passion in life is all consuming. Those who are fortunate enough to have found that path and set foot upon it are truly blessed. One such person is Denise Young. Her third and newest release, Passionata, is […]

CD: New Horizon Artist: Minstrel Streams Contact: http://www.minstrelstreams.com The word “confluence” can be defined as: “where streams flow together to form a river.” This is significant, not only in that it is connected to how the duo Minstrel Streams got their name, but also on a much more personal level. Matt and Rebecca Stuart were […]

CD: Tapestries of Time Artist: Ann Sweeten Contact: http://www.annsweeten.com As guitarist/songwriter Steve Miller sang in one of his many radio classics: “Time keeps on ticking… into the future.” The subject of time is one that has intrigued artists, musicians, and writers, inspiring them to create reflections of its mysteries. The new album, Tapestries of Time, […]

CD: Out Of Nothing Artist: Matteo Palmer Contact: http://www.matteopalmermusic.com Although I’ve been playing the guitar for almost 50 years, after hearing Matteo Palmer, I may never play again. Just kidding of course, but it was sobering to realize that at the tender age of 17, Matteo is already a more accomplished guitarist than I will […]

Unlike the Stars by Vin Downes

CD: Unlike the Stars Artist: Vin Downes Contact: http://www.vindownes.com I’m trying to imagine the experience of having an album produced by one of your musical idols. I know that if Carlos Santana produced my next release, I would certainly have that dream-come-true experience. But for guitarist Vin Downes, that dream became a reality when he […]

CD: Call of the Mountains Artist: Masako Contact: http://www.masako-music.com Ripples are still being felt in the wake of Masako’s self-titled debut release, which garnered extensive critical acclaim and radio airplay worldwide, as well as having provided the opening track on The Gathering, a stunning compilation album of music produced by Windham Hill Records founder Will […]

CD: What the Winter Said Artist: Kathryn Kaye Contact: http://kathrynkaye-music.com/ With the Fall colors starting to fade outside my window, and a chilly wind stripping the leaves from the trees, sending them flying in every direction, I’m in a proper frame of mind to write about pianist Kathryn Kaye’s brand new album, What the Winter […]

CD: Touched By The Sun Artist: Todd Boston Contact: www.toddboston.com It was just about a year ago when it seemed like every time I turned around I was hearing the name Todd Boston being mentioned. Whether it was as a recording artist, solo performer, a member of an ensemble, a recording engineer, a co–producer, or the […]

CD:Heavy As A Feather Artist: Kathryn Kaye Contact: http://www.kathrynkaye-music.com As I mentioned at the end of my review of Kathryn Kaye’s excellent debut album Dreaming Still, plans were already on the drawing board for her next recording and that it would certainly be something to look forward to. Now, here it is, just about one […]