new age Archive

EP Review: Versal

A vocal chorus pad introduces the EP, but that aural texture quickly subsides in favor of crystalline acoustic piano playing a simple yet appealing melody. As “Eternal” unfolds, those electronically generated vocals return along with synthetic strings. The whole effect is elegiac, contemplative. When a string synth lead enters around the two-minute mark, it’s a

Free Planet Radio: Music from Alpha to Delta

For 17 years now, instrumental trio Free Planet Radio has been making its compelling brand of world music, suffusing jazz and pop forms with elements drawn from musical traditions around the globe. On its latest album, Stillness, the Asheville-based group takes a slightly different approach, crafting an album of contemplative, near-ambient compositions. Free Planet Radio

Best of 2014: Concerts

One of the many pleasures associated with living in the small mountain city of Asheville NC is access to great live music. I grew up in the 70s and 80s in Atlanta, where going to a concert often meant traveling to a sports arena, and watching the tiny performers from the nosebleed seats (where you’d

Short Cuts: July Mini-reviews, Part Two

Here’s another entry in my short-review series; these three are instrumental albums. Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Boy Named Charlie Brown An entire generation grew up with the music of Vince Guaraldi, becoming familiar with he melodic brand of music even if they (we) might have claimed not to like jazz. As the background music

Album Review: Iasos – Celestial Soul Portrait

Near the tail-end of the 20th century, I played piano in the “house band” for a monthly coffeehouse in the suburbs of Atlanta. Since my bandmates often played acoustic twelve-string guitars, there were occasional gaps of time between songs, given over to tuning. I gamely filled those gaps with musician jokes. A favorite was this: