By Chuck Diliberto
Levitational Pull Songs For En-lightening Up
Scott Kalechstein Scottsongs (Independent Label)
There is a fine line between musician and performer. In "Levitational Pull", Scott Kalechstein has crossed that line to become a professional performer. His latest offering contains a few new studio tracks combined with a live performance recorded in Michigan.
The studio cuts are a sweet mixture of contemporary rhythms and light jazz. The music is light and airy, brimming with positive imagery and an unassuming innocence that permeates the lyrics. Scott draws upon an eclectic mix of vocal styles and backup singers to give his songs a genuine edge.
The live concert from Michigan is where Scott crosses the line. The looseness of his performance is entertaining and heartfelt. In the tradition of "Weird Al Yankovic", Scott selected from such popular songs as, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", "You're So Vain", "Just An Old Fashioned Love Song", "Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover", and then, he changed the lyrics. The result is a hodgepodge of amusing anecdotes, hilarious self-inquiry, and a profound insight into the silly mundanity of day-to-day living.
Scott, accompanied by himself on acoustic guitar, revealed a maturity and polish that was captivating and enervating. He was also relaxed and confident. While singing a song in accapella, he traded jokes with the audience without missing a beat.
Scott Kalechstein has developed a professional approach that really shines when he is playing to a live audience. It is a pleasure to hear a musician who has not lost his sense of humor, humility, focus, or Spirit. Scott has become the consummate performer, using his music as an outlet for a greater calling. This CD is a keeper. For more information, please call (760) 753-2359.
Alexi Mazzeroth Productions
The rhythm is deliberate; the drums are pulsing with excitement, layers of synthesizer tones swirl and dance in syncopation. The music is imbibed with Spirit and awe. A combination of sonically rich textures have come together to create a symbiotic happening of ideas and revelation.
This is Alexi's world. His instrument is the synthesizer, an instrument that has few limitations in musical sound and expression. The synthesizer is a versatile instrument that can be programmed (sampled) to provide the sound of any existing instrument. In this domain, Alexi has set himself free to explore his Christian beliefs and his Spiritual nature.
"The Mystery" is a musical journey through the traditional kingdom of God. The music deals with Alexi's interpretation of Genesis through to Revelation. Each composition is a different tone poem designed to take the listener through an inspired experience that depicts the biblical role of God in our lives.
The music is a unique blend of baroque chamber music, light jazz, and a hint of rock-n-roll. The sound is moody and introspective, or light and ethereal. There is a sense of profundity that permeates through the rhythmic passages of each composition. Alexi has found a calling in his ability to musically interpret and express his soul's multi-dimensionality. His is a wonderful gift, and his music is a very pleasurable experience to listen to.
For more information, call (719) 548-9872.
The Bells of Arcosanti
Daryl Simmons & David Blonski
Golden Mean Music
This compact disc comes with an interesting history that precludes the creativity of the music. Arcosanti is a 'world renown architectural demonstration site' in the Arizona desert. Its creator, Paolo Soleri, set out to develop a 'synergistic marriage of architecture and ecology, an Arcology'. The bells created for Arcosanti and the architectural structure are both used as instruments to create a passionate, atmospheric ambience.
Arcosanti has then become the impetus for the creative muse of Daryl Simmons and David Blonski. Simmons plays the bells and various architectural sculptures to capture the organic Spirit of Arcosanti. Blonski captures the mystery and invisible energies through bamboo and silver flutes, saxophone and didjeridu. Kate Price adds vocals and dulcimer, while Rob Simmons fills in with electric and acoustic guitars.
The music is tribal and trance enhancing. These fine musicians, recognizing the immensity and majesty of Arcosanti, decided to share the special uniqueness of their experience. There is a harmony and balance that resonates an inner peace weaving its way through each musical composition. The music is soothing, calming, and naturally introspective. The actual presence of Arcosanti echoes as a subtle mantra, always on the periphery, grounding the music with a paradoxical contrast of real sense stimulation to an ethereal, hidden message revelation.
"The Bells of Arcosanti" is quite possibly a work in progress, not in the conventional sense though. The understanding being, a year from now these musicians can return and play Arcosanti again with a totally different musical result. The monolith that is Arcosanti truly stands as the sound of one hand clapping, becoming the inner tone to deeper possibilities.
For more information, call (510) 528-0860.
The Dance of Innocents
Peter Kater, Nawang Khechog
Platinum Entertainment, Inc.
The innocents dance, swaying to a silent beat. The ritual of purification is guiding each step; the indivisible nascence of being is searching for meaning and expression. The innocents dance in quiet recognition of a collective consciousness, a loving heart shining and extending beyond its physical limitations to enjoin with a greater whole, nurtured, caressed, adored. This is the relationship Peter Kater and Nawong Khechog bring to their music; this is truly a divine blessing.
The fluid symbiosis of Kater's piano and Khechog's flute playing is something to behold. The music harkens to an Angelic realm. Kater and Khechog cajole and gently pull from each other a complimentary grace that elevates the music beyond the notes. The result is a phenomenological experience happening in the real time of our senses. We can feel, taste and smell; as well, as hear the meaning of the music. We are literally transported by the music to an inner chamber of our being. Perceptible realities within us, externally around us, and those unseen or unknown to us rush together into a confluence of heightened sensitivity.
The music created here is beautiful and elegant, transcendent and ethereal. The 'Zen' understanding of letting go to become one has an astute, profound opportunity to reveal itself. A special moment that often finds a way to express itself through music. "The Dance of Innocents" is that special moment personified, framed, and selflessly shared. Outstanding indeed!
For more information, call (310) 979-9227.
The harp is an instrument not generally thought of as a lead instrument. That was until Rudiger Op-perman redesigned the instrument to convey the same string-bending abilities of a guitar. In this new application of an instrument usually used as background filler, Opperman has found new ways to highlight the distinct tonal qualities of the harp.
Opperman has surrounded himself with a variety of international players. In combining elements of jazz, traditional cultural music, and well-known percussive arrangements, Opperman has created an original format from which to develop his unique style of harp playing. The Harp is a sensual instrument that can be used to weave melodious sonic ideas that mesh and interplay with other instruments. Especially notable was the trumpet playing of Lars Lindvall. Lindvall was the romantic parallel to Opperman's sensual lead lines.
Throughout "Fragile Balance" Rudiger Opperman searches for new ways to reinvent the role the harp inhabits within the genre of ensemble playing. His playing is fresh and interesting. The arrangements leave room for improvisation and thematic melodies to stretch out and break new ground. Opperman is a very moody player. Each note was resonating with feeling, a feeling that in turn created the direction of each composition. The music flows openly and lucidly with Opperman prodding the melody to achieve a transcendent level. This beautiful effort is both original and innovative. The harp never sounded so good.
For more information, call (800) 288-2007.
Chuck Diliberto is a resident of New York State. Having written for a hometown publication that covered local and national musicians, reviewing CDs is an extension of that experience. His main interests are spiritual in nature and right living in practice.
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