The Strum That Sets You On A Journey

Rafael Lopes experiments with sound and rhythms (say, running water), but not in an unforgivable or atonal way. The guitar maestro – even in these youthful years of his, a listener can tell that greatness is coming – lets the music wind its beautiful way into the air and mean something different to each person.... Continue Reading →

A Fragrant Flower Blooms Late

The sultry brushes introduce Ellen Pels in “Faith,” a ballad about strength. She sings with a straight and true voice, the end of each thought lightly adorned with a sweet vibrato. “On the Way” is another uplifting and re-assuring offering; this one an intimate chat with the listener, only set to music. The conversational timbre... Continue Reading →

Bringing the Love in All Registers

Starting with bold, decisive intervals falling down the scale and punctuated subtly by drums, the title song of Kenny Shanker’s new CD “The Witching Hour” opens to a wide and expressive solo where Kenny swings. The man’s not afraid of exploring his full range. His skilled approach to the upper and lower registers alike demonstrates... Continue Reading →

The Glee of the Alan Benzie Trio

Take some Scottish folk music and mix liberally with a love for Japanese animation. Alan Benzie insists there are overlaps that fuel his imagination. There’s a playful and jaunty quality to “Frog Town on the Hill” as his Trio – with Alan on piano, a bassist and a percussionist – winds through key modulations. Alan’s... Continue Reading →

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