One listen to Lisa Gerrard's The Silver Tree (originally available only digitally, then as an Australia-only import, and finally, as a U.S. release) is enough to convince anybody – who isn't already convinced – that there's a very specific reason she has been courted by directors to compose soundtracks. There are 13 tracks here full of wispy ambient soundscapes, on top of which the former Dead Can Dance vocalist places her almost otherworldly gift of a voice. Sung nearly as prayers or meditative mantras, Gerrard employs monosyllabic glimpses of other languages – and occasionally English – to create her own tapestry of dreams. Some may be tempted to call this "new age" music, but it's so much more melancholy than much of what passes for that trash, and it's nearly sacred in its approach to articulation, creating the feeling in places ("Come Tenderness," "The Sea Whisperer," and "Abwoon," to name a few) that she is actually singing inside a cathedral. In other places, such as "Wandering Star" and "Serenity," her voice offers a drone approach that is as subtle – yet powerful – as her instrumentation.
Outstanding, overlooked relase from Face To Face, worthy of their legacy. Far superior to the massive letdown that was/is Three Chords And A Half Truth. "Staring Back" and "Persona Non Grata" are bonus tracks exclusive to the German release. It's interesting to look back and think about the bands that influenced your musical tastes. I grew up on a steady diet of everything from Guns N' Roses to Run DMC to Black Flag. Eventually I started to lean towards the "grunge" movement of the early '90s, and from the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney and plethora of others, expanded to punk rock. Bad Religion, Rancid and NOFX were staples of the time, but I've always felt that Face to Face was the band that I not only "discovered" on my own, but ultimately most identified with. I picked up a copy of Big Choice after reading about in a magazine, and was instantly hooked. My fandom undoubtedly peaked during the release of their self-titled LP, which to this day I consider to be the soundtrack of my high school years.
Yukari Ito, aka Nobuko Ito, is a Japanese singer from Tokyo. Daughter of art, has his father as a singing teacher.
Pianist Oscar Peterson is frequently astounding on this solo set. After nearly 20 years of mostly performing with trios, Peterson sounds quite liberated in this setting, throwing in some hot stride, unexpected changes in tempos and keys, and surprises whenever he thinks of them. "Give Me the Simple Life," "Honeysuckle Rose," and the ironically titled "A Little Jazz Exercise" are quite remarkable, yet Peterson also leaves space for some sensitive ballads.
Vocalion's reissue of classic 1970s albums by famous French orchestra leader/arranger/composer Paul Mauriat. Remastered from the original stereo tapes for Vocalion's trademark crystal-clear sound quality.