MUSIC REVIEWS
 By Chuck Diliberto 

 

 

More Songs from Pooh Corner 
Kenny Loggins
Sony Wonder/ Columbia Records 
Kenny Loggins has been a fixture for almost thirty years. His staying power is reflected in “More Songs from Pooh Corner”, follow up to the critically-acclaimed “Return to Pooh Corner”. Loggins, the father of five children, knows something about the sentimentality of a parent with regard to their offspring. This CD is mostly a collection of songs Loggins has written as part of the soundtracks for various Disney movies. 

The lyrics are reflective of the love and strength that is important to sustain a true relationship, whether it is parent to child, lover to lover, or friend to friend. Loggins has a sweet, supportive vocal style, comforting like a warm fire on a chilly day. His voice crackles with emotion, bubbling from a heart with a lot to share. 

The songs are gently orchestrated, supporting tender acoustic guitar chording, or the whole note sounds of a grand piano. Loggins has created music to evince an emotional response, caring, nurturing, hopeful, and may I add, somewhat overly sentimental. The kind of feelings that parents love sharing with their children. In this way, Loggins has created a vehicle of communication between parent and child, developing a lasting impression through which we can all learn and grow. 

For more information, please call (212) 741-1000. 

 

Grow Wild 
AO 
BMI/ AGM Music 
“Grow Wild” is the creative brainchild of Ricky Gannaway (Nahoo) and Jay Oliver (Jo Jo). They are two very talented musicians who have kicked around in their own bands (Homegrown, Tiger and the Helix), and also worked with Cheryl Crow, the Eagles, Jimmy Buffet, Dave Weckl, and Maynard Ferguson. “AO” is the ancient Polynesian word for light. 

Gannaway and Oliver are looking for a musical Gestalt to connect them with the Universal forces of nature, love and light. The main themes evolve around the Spiritual energies of Mother Earth, and how these energies relate to setting our souls free. Jay Oliver, through a variety of sampled music and chants, combined with the Zeitgeist of Ricky Gan-naway’s plaintively soul searching lyrics, have come together to “Grow Wild”. 

Musically we are treated to diverse combinations of styles. Smooth jazz, bluegrass, rock-n-roll, and New World music are matched effortlessly with multi-cultural chants and poly-rhythms to create a fusion of sounds that is both familiar and original. Gannaway as the lead vocalist, is gently asking for life’s answers, quietly pleading for deeper meanings to the conundrum called Planet Earth. In this context, both of these musicians have found an outlet for their eclectic musical tastes all the while furthering their soul’s purpose to enlighten hearts with the gift of love. 

“Grow Wild” is a fascinating pastiche of ideas, creativity, Spiritual Awakening, environmental awareness and service to humanity all wrapped up conveniently in a compact disc. Gannaway and Oliver offer a personal and fresh approach to finding one’s self, delving into all that is and attempting to define the cosmos through music and lyrics. 

For more information, please call (719) 548-9872. 

 

Instrumental Imagery
Mehdi 
Soothing Music, Inc.
The synthesizer keyboard has the digital capability to sample any sound. The sounds are stored in its memory, allowing for a vast array of beats, rhythms, and melodies to be sampled. It sounds like an easy thing to do, push some keys, and voila, music. If this were true, anyone could create a CD such as “Instrumental Imagery”, but it is not true.

Mehdi (pronounced Meddie) brings a wide variety of musical tastes to the synthesizer, his favorite instrument of expression. Whether he is playing strings, percussion, bass, piano, or organ, each tone is distinctive and individual. Mehdi has a natural talent to weave melodies and rhythms around complex beats. His compositions are powerful portrayers of emotion, Spiritually lifting, and sonically pleasing. The orchestral arrangements are unobtrusive, yet still a vital part of the mood being conveyed. 

The music has a strong sense of being a soundtrack. Each individual track has its own expression and direction. Visually, we are treated to a wandering imagination, creating our own dreams to fill in the lush melodic soundscapes that Mehdi is offering. We are soaring past stars and planets, floating over fields where gentle breezes ruffle multi-colored wildflowers, or melding with divine inspiration to be transported into an ethereal realm of lilting angelic voices that are caressing our deepest heart. This is a wonderful place to be, a place where Mehdi is most comfortable creating his “Instrumental Imagery”. 

For more information, please call (888) 782-0570 or check out our website www.soothingmusic.com 

 

The Silicon Jungle 
David Cortopassi 
Digital Cellars 
It is undeniable that the “Concrete Jungle” symbology, replete with the cold world analogy of cement, glass, and steel, has prompted David Cortopassi’s refrain of “The Silicon Jungle.” In Cortopassi’s “Jungle,” computers, and their programmers/users have become the progenitors of a cold, sterile environment. The story is furthered by following the exploits of a poor African tribal boy who is lost and befriended by a rich American hunter. The hunter takes him as his own, bringing him back to America. Eventually the boy goes to college, becoming a whiz kid in computer technology. The African boy’s life becomes entrenched with material possession and success, only to find, “deep inside was like he died”. 

The music is a synthesizer laden, techno-pop representation of isolation, emptiness, and despair. We the listeners are faced with what decon-structivism sounds like musically. This is not to say that the music is lifeless and unlistenable, quite the contrary. David Cortopassi has taken it upon himself to superimpose his musical talents and creativity upon this bleak landscape of soullessness. 

There is a strong message of survival, and an unyielding Spirit that underlies Cortopassi’s journey into the dark side. We are compelled to see through a veil of smoky gauze, uneasy with the options of waiting around to see what happens. It is obvious we are microscoping one aspect of human existence, a generational experience that is held as both victim and villain alike. Yet, in David Cortopassi’s musical analysis, many things can be explored and exposed without losing the fine line balance between harmony and disharmony.

For more information, please call (707) 251-3953. 

 

One World One People
X Cultures 
Intentcity Records
 “One World One People” is the realized dream of composer, arranger, and producer, Brian Wayy. We live in a world where music is interpreted through the multi-ethnic hodge podge of musical sensibility and culture. Each culture has its own distinctive expression and perspective that is shared through a variety of instruments and vocal phrasings. The music is personal, and oft times reflective of a collective consciousness pertinent to its origin. Brian Wayy has waded through a sea of indigenous music to create a homogenous blending of sounds and tones that still hold true to his own ideas of music and creativity. 

The concept of “One World One People” is deeply explored. The notion of mixing diverse musical directions to create a sense of oneness is not novel. What separates Brian Wayy from others creating New World Music is the ostensibly incongruent styles he has brought together. It is not unusual to hear a hard driving beat combined with samples of Japanese, Senegalese, Moroccan, Sudanese, Chinese, Indian, African, Russian, Spanish, and American vocal chants. The resultant synthesis is odd, yet unique and refreshing. 

Most of the music is familiar in its original form. Wayy is not trying to change the sound, he is more or less interested in finding unusual musical combinations and extrapolating the feelings that are aroused in the listener from being exposed to his creations. The bottom line to Brian Wayy’s musical experiment hammers home a simple message; music is the universal communicative, if we listen with the same heart, we are all “One World One People”. 

For more information, please call (562) 943-6092.


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