Andreas Vollenweider's Grammy-winning effort is dominated by the Swiss musician's electrically modified harp. Its distinctive sound runs throughout the album, supported by the usual tinkering synthesizer effects and light percussion. After an extended introductory interlude, the title track zips into a vaguely Caribbean-styled rhythm. "Water Moon" features a different, more organic harp sound; it's mixed with the windy tones of a flute, suggesting ghostly moonshafts lancing through falling rain. Vollenweider plays the harp strings off of guitar strings on the surprisingly twangy (for new age, anyway) "Drown in Pale Light." The composer weaves the album's instrumentals together with a goody bag of pan-ethnic influences; the album's margins are full of these little touches that nevertheless make a big difference. Down to the Moon will appeal to anyone looking for music that's as interesting as it is soothing.
The cover and inside booklet of Down to the Bone's second album shows a variety of rare-groove record stores (both inside and out), displaying racks of records by Weather Report, Lonnie Liston Smith and Donald Byrd. The music itself is a delicious update of those same sounds – yes, the grooves are tighter and have a bit of hip-hop bounce, but the soloing is far and away superior to most acid-jazz releases. Programmers and group frontmen Stuart Wade and Chris Morgans have the irresistible knack of translating their influences into an instantly familiar yet radically different style of music, and the results are uniformly excellent. Original Blue Note recording artist Reuben Wilson guests on Hammond organ for "Vinyl Junkie."
Celebrating a decade of making music, The Best of Down to the Bone collects 11 of the soul-jazz/fusion band's biggest songs – at least one from each of their six albums – into one neatly compiled collection. Released by Narada, who Down to the Bone has been with since 2004's Cellar Funk, this best-of is a superfluous addition to anyone who has most, or many, of the group's records, but for someone who just wants to learn what Down to the Bone is about, this hits the spot.
"Down to the Bone" is Quiet Riot's eighth album recorded at Ocean Studios, Burbank Calif. Solid guitar work and pretty good vocals. It remains their heaviest album to date, but Down to the Bone is only for the dedicated Quiet Riot fans who weren't already turned off by their past few releases.
Part harmonica wizard and part rhythmic explorer, Harper is a fiery artist who blurs the lines between rock, folk and blues. His use of the didgeridoo, an indigenous wind instrument of his native Australia, along with his compelling original songwriting and sublime vocals, gives Harper a distinctive sound entirely his own. Harper's music is instantly memorable, with a deeply soulful groove.