On his third solo album, Mars offers a fantasia of “visual” music. Drawing upon his vast experience with the Fairlight synthesizer, Mars has blended his trademark dynamic sounds with subtly mysterious effects and softer rhythms to create a labyrinth for the mind and heart. So appropriately titled, this album offers a true escape into the unfettered realm of the imagination.
Oboe as the principal instrument sounded like it could be kind of awful, but it is instead rather awesome! All of the nine tracks are ensemble works that include piano, keyboards, guitar, vocals, and strings, but Walder’s oboe sings with and soars above them all in a marvelous mix.” —Solo Piano Publications
“Rarely does an album featuring oboe as the lead instrument land on my desk…a pure sound reminding me of carefree summer childhood days spent blowing on a piece of reed. Exquisite playing both joyous and tender, this music speaks a language I have so yearned to hear. From the first notes there was never another title considered, referred to from day one as Pure Joy.” —Terence Yallop, President, Real Music
Zabuca (Shake up) is the perfect title for this infectious fourth album from one of the few real masters of the Spanish guitar. Zabuca burns with passionate and festive Latin joy, from the jubilant and brassy “La Cabañita” to the seductive and whimsical “La Rumbita.” The traditional-minded “Guayabera” combines Santanaesque groove with some of Johannes’ most heartfelt finger styling. The soft-spoken “Eleni” conveys his sweet, romantic side, while the two-part suite “Echoes of the Forest” combines meditative classical moods with the modern happy nouveau flamenco experience. For aficionados of nouveau flamenco music at its most lushly romantic, dust off the mariachis and prepare to shake it up with Zabuca!
Known for his beautiful solo piano works, Chappell branches out to include strings, percussion, woodwinds and brass on Saturday’s Rhapsody; music sure to kickoff a blissful weekend. From the stirring first cuts, to the cheery “Fancy Pants,” from the airy “A Weekend to Remember,” to the dusky feel of “One Last Time,” Saturday’s Rhapsody evokes many moods to coincide with every aspect of a spontaneous Saturday to remember.
A fan captures Chappell’s Michigan summers inspiration for this album: “A series of musical vignettes that recall the innocence of childhood, almost magical in transporting the listener to that lost and happy time. All top quality and refreshingly engaging…”