Artist: Richard Zeier
Genre: Symphonic Rock
Label: RJZ Music
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Richard Zeier's Phenomenation is a cleanly produced, mostly instrumental album that incorporates sounds from rock, classical, new age, and electronica. The album is well composed and Zeier's guitar work is superb. Each of the thirteen tracks explores emotional locations that combine to create an overall sound that at once transcends time and location yet feels very familiar and accessible.
The album opens with "Rainbow Nebula," which features an ethereal beginning followed by layers of acoustic and electric guitar under laid by a rhythmic bass line and interspersed with piano. The sound is upbeat yet underscored with darker rhythms and melodies that suggest you are entering a textured and complex musical world. That multi-layered sound appears throughout the album and gives Zeier's work a cinematic feel: each of these tracks suggests plots and complexities that extend beyond the song itself, and is telling only part of a larger story.
For those of you looking for Zeier's straight-up, rock the stadium electric guitar, Zeier indulges the need with the bluesy song "The Journey," the funky "Z-Factor," and the first half of "Cloud Painter." However, the album overall does not limit itself to one genre, instead favoring towards tight compositions and covering a variety of styles and moods. "Rite of Passage" and "New World" have an orchestral sound and forgo the guitar in favor of violins, drums, and a choral singers to create a sound that is both optimistic and sinister in a way that classical musical is able to that rock and roll just can't do in the same way.
Phenomenation is an excellent musical journey through time and space and a deep showcase of Zeier's musical ability. This is the best of cinematic rock: whether it's on your MP3 player or in your favorite films I have no doubt you'll be hearing a lot of Phenomenation and Richard Zeier.
Ryan Quinn-March 20, 2007
01. Rainbow Nebula (3:02)
02. Phenomenation (3:52)
03. The Journey (2:57)
04. Q-Blaze (4:13)
05. First Light (4:17)
06. Sweet (3:18)
07. Shanghai (4:02)
08. Z-Factor (4:40)
09. Who You Are (4:25)
10. Cloud Painter (3:53)
11. Rite of Passage (3:02)
12. New World (7:17)
13. Shiloh (2:59)
Artist: Richard Zeier
Labels: Paul and Friends-Smooth Sailing Review
Artist: Paul and Friends
Title: Smooth Sailing
Label: P & J Records
After hearing Smooth Sailing for the first time, my first impression was that it might be a little too contemporary and syrupy for these ears. I do listen to a wide variety of music but I always find myself reaching for my 70’s classic rock when I really want to unwind. Never being one to dismiss a recording after merely one listen, unless its completely horrible for the first 3 or 4 tracks, I endeavored to open my mind and ears once again to really ‘hear’ the music.
Well for starters, they really hit the proverbial nail on the head for the title. This CD is without a doubt Smooth Sailing all the way through. I have to emphasize the word smooth, as in smooth jazz and rock. Paul & Friends is Paul W. Sammarco (alias Paul Summers, his stage name in Australia). He is the leader of the pack, and I do not refer to pack lightly (see credits). One of the more difficult things to do is to put together an album with so many people involved. Consequently, it comes as no surprise it took over 4 years to complete this ambitious and eclectic project.
“What’s The Matter With That?” is the most catchy and memorable tune on the album and sounds radio ready. On the other side of the coin they do an about face and do an old standard like “Amazing Grace” with aplomb. The track is not the easiest to make sound new again because its one of the pillars of the American songbook and very old. On top of that, to come up with some fresh insight and make it happen, well I thought the band did a nice job with that from top to bottom. The lead and background vocals of Lindsay Melancon, who also plays oboe on the track, did not bore me in the least and that was my fear when I saw the track listed. The message is the same only the delivery method is different. The Beatles “In My Life” is done very well. I am always a little skeptical of Beatles covers and very judgmental. I have to say that the more I hear their special version of “In My Life,” the more it grows on me. For this staunch Beatles lover that is saying a mouthful so kudos for a job well done to Martin and Carol Hart handling the vocals and to the band for their fine musicianship!
Those were the highlights for me and actually, I found plenty of value and enjoyment in every track. I especially enjoyed the smooth jazz aspects and the careful mixture of pop and rock, which was interspersed amongst the jazz rudiments as well. This is a very good album so if you are looking to kick back and go for a sail along your fantasy shoreline throw on this CD and let it happen.
Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-March 19, 2007
01. Smooth Sailing (0:59)
02. Just One More Time (3:34)
03. What's the Matter with That? (3:57)
04. Helplessly Hoping (2:56)
05. Drift Away (3:51)
06. In My Life (3:33)
07. Willie (2:33)
08. Amazing Grace (3:56)
09. Have You Ever Seen...? (4:50)
10. Brunch in the Big Easy (4:49)
11. Thanks for Being There (4:16)
Todd Adams (keyboards)
Des Anthony (acoustic guitar, vocals; from “Three’s Company”)
Kurt Brunus (keyboards; from “The Kurt Brunus Project”)
Tracy Griffin (flugelhorn; from “Allen Toussaint and Friends”)
Carol Hart (vocals)
Martin Hart (vocals, acoustic guitar; from “Three’s Company”)
Roger Kimball (soprano sax, tenor sax; from "Harry Connick, Jr.", “Soul Survivors”, “NiteLife”)
Mark Liuzza (keyboards, Hammond B-3 organ; from “Benny Grunch”)
Larry Martin (keyboards; from “NiteLife”)
Ben Melancon (vocals, percussion; from “Unmerited Favor”)
Lindsay Melancon (vocals, oboe)
Brian O’Neill (trombone; from “Bonerama”)
Clyde Pellegrin (keyboards)
Curtis Pierre (Brazilian percussion; from “Casa Samba”)
Joe Raines (vocals; from “Full FX”)
Hank Randle (percussion; from “Soul Survivors”)
Donna Sammarco (piano; from Dept. Fine Arts, Nicholls State University)
Paul W. Sammarco (bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals; from “Three’s Company”, “Little Ripper Band”, etc.)
Jerome Theriot (alto sax, keyboards; from the US Army Band - New Orleans, “Soul Survivors”)
Steve Theriot (percussion; “The Kevin Koike Blues Band”)
Mark Trennecosta (electric guitar; from “Benny Grunch”)
and June Yamagishi (acoustic guitar; from “Papa Grows Funk”)
Labels: Eric Kamen-Eric 2.0 Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, New York--March 19, 2007-- From the heart of the Big Apple Eric Kamen delivers his multicultural instrumental music to the world. Nearly a year and a half has passed since the incredible Native Unit made its mark upon our consciousness and now Eric 2.0 continues the journey of the tasteful Latin-World flavored instrumental compositions that have built a large worldwide following. Once again, Kamen gracefully plucks his Spanish guitar and dazzles us with picturesque soundscapes on his latest offering.
Kamen composed, recorded, and played all the instruments on Eric 2.0, again proving his steadfast indie approach to all of his recorded output. Since the release of the last album, the artist has found his place amongst the many flourishing cyberspace communities. The phenomenon of Myspace is no stranger to Eric, and he has created an entirely new audience by connecting to that community. As he progresses as an artist, his listener’s are with him every step of the way.
Fourteen tracks encompass Eric 2.0 and his distinctive World-Latin-Fusion comes at you in different tones, atmospheres, and flavors. Each track creates a story in one’s mind, allowing you to run away with the music for a while then you begin to write your own script as the music unfolds. Spanish guitar, Indian tablas, sitar, and many other worldly sounds emanate from this musical melting pot of instrumental delights.
The enchanting “1001 Nights” and “Etude for Flute and Sitar” give the listener a Middle Eastern flavor while “La Gitane” reminds you again of Eric’s expertise with Spanish guitar and how a melody can sweep you away and stay stuck in your head for hours on end. The entire recording is something you will want to hear repeatedly.
The master of moods and atmospheres is back with another work of genius and he does it all without saying a word, he lets his guitar do all the talking for him.
Visit Eric Kamen’s Myspace site for samples of the new album and updates.
Contact: Eric Kamen
Company: E*Traxxx Productions
Address: New York, New York 10024
Cell: 917 952-6198
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