Twilight is the eighth studio album by One Alternative, an acoustic fusion ensemble who blend elements of classical, jazz and rock music for an eclectically innovative sound. Comprised of nine compositions spanning forty-three minutes, the album showcases band members Jill Haley on oboe and English horn, and Mark Oppenlander on electric and acoustic guitars as well as bass and percussion, with guest musician James Mclaughlin lending piano and Hammond organ to one track. Four cover songs each by Billy Cobham, Simon and Garfunkel, Oregon and Craig Dobbins are included on the album, along with five original tunes composed by Haley and Oppenlander.
Ricky Kej is an Indo-American musician, composer and environmental conservationist who has contributed to numerous outstanding projects over the years, including his own Grammy Award winning album, Winds of Samsara, which was released in 2014 with South African flautist and composer, Wouter Kellerman. On his latest musical ambition, Shanti Samsara (subtitled World Music for Environmental Consciousness), Ricky is joined by an international team of recording artists who variably contribute an array of world instruments and vocals on this definitively glorious global musical project. Just a handful of contributing credits includes familiar names such as Alexis D’Souza, Darlene Koldenhoven, Patti Austin, Ron Korb, Seay, Tina Guo, Vanil Veigas, Vito David Gregoli and Wouter Kellerman, among many other talents. Released as both single and double disc editions, the single disc version includes fourteen compositions presented in a colorful gatefold package, whereas the double disc version comes packaged in a stunningly beautiful 150 gloss-page book. Making for a wonderful centerpiece, the book provides detailed insight into the album’s creation, which includes chaptered short stories highlighting the inspiration for each composition. Photographs of the numerous recording artists involved in the project are also included, as well as visually stunning images of landscapes and scene sites from around the globe.
The Road Ahead is the third album and second non-holiday recording from Dallas-based musician and composer, Joslin. Comprised of eleven compositions spanning forty-nine minutes, this 2010 release adheres to a similar formula as his debut album, The Lone Traveler, while mostly scaling back the heavier techno-dance elements in favor of more contemporary rhythms. Likewise showcasing a colorful array of electronic, global and symphonic orchestral textures, the album features a handful of talented guest artists, of which includes guitarist David Abrams, violinist Radu Cernat, and vocalists Lauren and Elizabeth Leonard.
Joslin Dsouza is an Oman-born musician-composer who currently resides in Dallas, Texas. Having first begun playing piano by ear at the age of four, he later enrolled in classical piano lessons, eventually studying under the academic curriculum of the Royal School of Music, London. Since moving to the United States, Joslin’s music has been featured on numerous television shows, commercials and documentaries. Released in 2006, his debut album, The Lone Traveler, was inspired by a story he learned in music class about the evolution of the modern guitar, specifically, the Arabic contributions to Spanish guitar music. Comprised of ten compositions spanning approximately fifty minutes, the album incorporates influences of world, techno, classical and contemporary instrumental styles of music, inviting the listener to embark on a spirit-soaring journey full of cultural richness and vivid colors painted throughout.
Renascence is the recording alias of Tony Clark, a Texas-based multi-instrumentalist with over thirty years of experience in musical composition. On his first volume of Music Uniquely Yours, Tony explores electronic musical terrain of the ambient-chill variety, often infusing his passages with both Balearic and new age overtones. Comprised of nine compositions spanning thirty-seven minutes, the first seven tracks on the album include women’s names in their titles and draw upon themes devoted to relaxation.
AO Music is a world fusion group founded by Richard Gannaway and Jay Oliver, which also includes South African-born singer and solo artist, Miriam Stockley (who co-produced this album with Richard). Perhaps best known as the voice of composer Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus project (whose debut single of the same name released in the mid-1990’s went on to become an international new age/classical-crossover hit), Miriam likewise imbues AO Music with her signature, layered phonetic vocalese that deftly emulates indigenous tribal chants. Titled Asha, after a Hindi word meaning “hope”, the group’s fifth album is “a salute to the world’s youth” intended to convey a global message of unity, peace and love. Richard plays banjo and Irish bouzouki, as well as handles the synths, samples and sound design throughout, even providing his own voice on numerous tracks. Comprised of twelve compositions spanning fifty-four minutes, Asha additionally features guest singers and musicians from various parts of the globe, making for a truly pan-cultural listening experience that masterfully integrates acoustic, ambient and world music styles.
Reflected in a Flowing Stream is the sixth full-length album from notably accomplished and award-winning pianist-composer, Kathryn Kaye. Co-produced by Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton and herself, Kathryn’s latest release was recorded at Will’s Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont, as well as mixed and mastered by Tom. Comprised of eleven compositions spanning fifty-five minutes, a talented team of guest musicians are variably featured throughout, of which includes Eugene Friesen on cello, Charlie Bisharat on violin, Tony Levin on bass, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, Jill Haley on English horn, Jeff Haynes on percussion, Tom Eaton on accordion, and Will Ackerman on guitar. As always, the most visually suited cover artwork was chosen to represent her album, with this one perfectly capturing a gentle repose, observant of nature and the seasonal cycles of the year.
Greatest Hits Vol. 2 is a collection of sixteen pieces culled from a three-decade span of works by California-based composer/musician Steven Vitali. His music first debuted on Canadian airwaves in 1988 with a song called “Eternity”. which was eventually followed up with his debut album, Come Dream With Me, released in 1989. Totaling sixty-seven minutes in length, Greatest Hits Vol. 2 weaves new age, neoclassical and contemporary instrumental styles of music that variably range from boldly cinematic to quietly contemplative, as environmental nature sounds along with touches of world music are additionally sprinkled throughout.