Andre Feriante – Serenade

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Artist: Andre Feriante
Genre: world, flamenco,solo guitarist
Title:Serenade
Released: 1997
Label: Lumar Records
Format: CD
Musicians: Andre Feriante

Andre Feriante is a Segovia-trained guitarist/composer, he has introduced a sensual and contemporary sound to an otherwise traditional genre. His creative blend of classical, flamenco and Brazilian styles speaks to people from all walks of life.
http://andreferiante.com/about/
It starts off with the title track “Serenade”, which is obviously a Spanish style song. It is followed by the track “Euphoria Hotel” that has a feel to it that would be great for dinner or coffee background music…hey, perhaps they use it in the Euphoria Hotel restaurant? Track three, “Romance Pour Guitare” is another Spanish style song that would also be good for the same purpose. Track four, “Lucid Air” is a more upbeat tune that is a good listen as it is a bit to follow. Track five, “Yesterday’s Flamenco” has a more flamenco style as the title implies, but there is spoken word in it, which in my opinion deters the whole feeling of it, not my favorite track. This is followed by a dull song in my opinion titled “Caress”.
For some reason still not clear to me, I like track seven, “Gypsy Ballet”. Track eight, “Sweet Distance” is another track that to my mind is great for background music. Track nine, “Phantom of the Matador” is another good listening track, while track ten, “Celtic Lullaby” has a title that does not really fit the album and just sounds ok to me. Track eleven, “Sketches” is yet another good listen as is the closing track, “First Tear”.

Overall, this is a good album and the sound quality is very good for CD.

MUSIC:5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars
SOUND:5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

 

Suzanne Teng and Mystic Journey – Miles Beyond

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Artist: Suzanne Teng and Mystic Journey

Genere: World, New Age
Title: Miles Beyond
Released:October 10, 2003
Label: Autumn Light Productions
Format: CD
Musicians:Suzanne Teng, Gilbert Levi

Suzanne Teng, is a flutist, percussionist, dancer, composer, teacher and recording artist from Berkeley, California. She has a master’s degree in music from Boston University’s School for the Arts and has studied with some of the finest flute teachers in the world. She is an award-winning classical musician who, after traveling adventures across the globe, furthered her graduate studies at UCLA’s Department of Ethnomusicology, where she completed the coursework for the Ph.D. focusing on music and healing.

This is a well produced CD that even sounds good on cheap players. Someone knew what they were doing. Mostly traditional instruments are used on this album and somehow the recording engineer was able to not only capture, but maintain the natural sounds of the instruments throughout the recording with minimal sterile feel. I think this is due to good mic  placement and using the right medium in accordance with what type of medium it would end up on.This is an instrumental album.
Official website:http://www.mysticjourney.net/

I’ll quickly run through the tracks just telling you the overall sound style mostly.

Medicine Wheel – This to me is a fusion of east Asian and American Indian flavors, hence the title, which is interesting when you stop to consider how both the eastern and native western cultures knew a thing or two about healing and medicines, etc. So putting those influences together under this one title is strangely appropriate. This is one of my favorites.
Sierra – This tune has kind of a middle-eastern feel with some Spanish influence behind it. Also a favorite of mine.
Babylonians – This one is more a Middle-Eastern/Tibetan fusion as there is a Tibetan drone sound in the background through the piece.
Sitara – Guess what this one sounds like, Yes, this track is not a fusion type style like the rest,but more a straight East Indian hence the title “Sitara”. It  has a droning bit to it. Another favorite of mine.
Motherland – This has a strangely soothing African continent sound to it. It is said that is where we are all from ultimately so the title seems appropriate.
Suling – I’m not sure how to classify this one, it could be a fusion of several styles. It’s kind of a light tune, it sounds almost Caribbean to me.
Chicoy – This is a sort of fusion of American Indian and electronic ambiance. Another favorite.
Miles Beyond – This is obviously the title track. it has an African influence with bird song in the background. This would be my least favorite, just sayin.
Tien’s Lullaby – This is an ok tune with an Asian influence.

This is really just a put on and enjoy album.

MUSIC:5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars
SOUND: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

Sierra: https://youtu.be/6xAMp2UgYeg
Sitara: https://youtu.be/GwzQJSVYZog

Brian Keane and Omar Faruk Tekbilek – Beyond the Sky

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Artist:Brian Keane and Omar Faruk Tekbilek
Genre: World
Title:Beyond the Sky
Released: 1992
Label: Celestial Harmonies
Format: CD
Musicians:Brian Keane-ovation acoustic nylon string, 12 string steel guitars, 6 string steel guitar, electric slide guitar, bottleneck acoustic guitar, synthesizers, all orchestrations, sound effects, bass, Omar Faruk Tekbilek- Ney (middle eastern flute), Kaval (middle eastern piccol), Zurna (double reed instrument), Bagiama (longnecked gourd guitar), Darbuka (middle eastern hand drum), Tambourine, vocals, Bandir (low drum), synth, Ara Dinkjian-Oud (middle eastern fretless lute), Arto Tuncboyaciyan- all percussion, Hassan Isikkut – Kanun (middle eastern harp).

Ok, time to start adding some world music album reviews. I really like world music, especially when it leans towards middle eastern or Indian influence. For me it started  back in the sixties with the introduction of world instruments such as the Sitar and Tabla drums. Personally, I can’t get enough Sitar, Oud and Dumbek and other mid east percussion. as a percussionist or former percussionist as it were (I’m often not sure how to refer myself in that light), I cut my teeth, as it were, on playing middle east percussion.

Anyway, here is the first world music LP I am reviewing.
Omar Faruk Tekbilek is a popular artist and appears on many albums.

Starting off this disc on “Beyond The Sky”, which is the title track, is synth effects and traditional instruments (lute, strings, etc). It ‘s a nice ambient sound that kind of transport you to an ancient place.
Imaginary Traveler – Percussion starts this track and strings join in. This is basically just percussion and strings, with the strings being featured. The work of both is amazing on this track.
Kolaymi-This is a slower tempo song with a modern flavor.
Bridge– This is another stand out track. Wind instruments are featured here as it starts off with a solo for the first minute, then percussion joins in and it stays with just those two the entire song. To me this track gives the feel of being in the desert at  night, in a big Bedouin tent or something at dinner time.
Chargah Sirto – This is a full orchestra number that is a short up tempo fun diddy.
Your Love Is My Cure – This is the longest song on the album, It starts with a lute solo for the first minute then wind instruments and percussion join in. It’s a slow tempo and rather sad sounding song that feels somewhat disjointed, not my favorite.
Selemet-Synth effects start off this track, joined by wind instruments and then percussion comes in and brings up the tempo in dramatic fashion. The track gives kind of a daytime in Arabia feel like one is at a beach having horse races or other games being played. A fun song.
Nighttime- Appropriately named in that this track kind of feels like twilight in a Moroccan suburban city.
Strange Little Corner – A fitting title given that this song sounds disjointed to me, Hard to listen to.
Siseler-I guess we are back to dancing with this up tempo dance-like tune
Sweet Trouble-This group’s version of the blues perhaps? Not one of my favorite tunes on the album.
Al Fatiha-This is the only time when vocals are used, not my favorite track either.

MUSIC:5_Star_Rating_System_3_and_a_half_stars
SOUND:5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Bridge:https://youtu.be/2VicRtbuTHE