Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fly Away - The Songs Of David Foster

Once in a while comes along one of those tribute albums, which catches your ear. “Fly Away” is certainly one of those. It celebrates the songwriting art of one of the most talented musicians/writers/producers ever to appear on the music scene, David Foster. But while a lot of people think that Mr. Foster had everything to do with this album, the fact remains that the man behind this tribute is Tomi Malm, from Finland, who as an arranger and producer has reinvented a number of classics from Foster’s amazing songbook. Furthermore, Malm’s inventive and original covers are brought to life by a cast of superior musicians and singers, some of whom have collaborated with Foster in the past in one way or another. Mr. Foster himself collaborates on a few tracks playing piano. But the real beauty of this album is the fact that even for someone who doesn’t know who David Foster is or who these musicians are, it doesn’t matter. These are great songs and great performances and the appeal of these covers is undeniably attractive. To say that these renditions sound better than the originals by Earth, Wind & Fire, Peter Cetera, Boz Scaggs, Kenny Loggins, Peter Allen, Chaka Khan, James Ingram and Chicago would be sacrilege, but even if you are familiar with the originals you cannot help but to feel compelled to continue listening to this wonderful production and end up loving it. Mr. Malm has achieved a true tribute album, which sounds fresh, inventive and gives new meaning to “The Songs of David Foster”, or should we say David Foster, Maurice White, Bill LaBounty, Boz Scaggs, Kenny Loggings, Michael McDonald, Carole Bayer Sager, Peter Allen, Cynthia Weil, Richard Marx, Jeremy Lubbock, Jay Graydon, Robert Lamm, just to name a few. After all, none of the songs in this tribute (and throughout most of his career) were written by Foster alone but in collaboration with some of the best writers in the music business. Mr. Foster just has a star-like persona and is a better businessman. His all around talent as a writer, producer, musician and entrepreneur propels him into stardom. The album closes with an extraordinary contribution directly from Foster’s vaults, the unreleased song “Live Each Day”, which features a vocal performance by the late Warren Wiebe, which has never been heard before. Musicians are: Vocals by Bill Champlin, Bill LaBounty, Arnold McCuller, Frank Adahl, Jeff Pescetto, Robbie Dupree, Cecily Gardner, Ole Borud, Lisa Lovbrand, Bill Cantos and Warren Wiebe, Tomi Malm as producer, arranger on keyboards, bass and guitars, Jeremy Lubbock, Lenni-Kalle Taipale, Aidan Zammit on Rhodes, David Foster on piano, John Robinson and Jarmo Valmari on drums, Nathan East, Rick Chudacoff, Neil Stubenhaus, Alberto Hernandez and Abraham Laboriel on bass, Ramon Stagnaro on nylon guitar, Brandon Fields and Fabrizio Mandolini on sax, Paul Jackson Jr., Janne Lehikoinen, Peter Friestedt, Dan Warner, Michael Landau, Soren Reiff, Jay Graydon, Porty, Jyrki Manninen, Jaakko Pesola and Juan Carlos Jimenez on electric guitar, Michito Sanchez on percussion, Tollak Ollestad on harmonica, Frank Adahl, Bill Champlin, Lisa Lavie, Tomi Malm, Gabriel Raya, Rafa Hernandez, Eli Hernandez, Arnold McCuller, Bill Cantos, Joaquin Gonzalez, Jeff Pescetto, Bjarne Langhoff, Bjarne Langhoff, Aidan Zammit and Joe Pizzulo on background vocals, Horns arranged by Tomi Malm, Jan Glaesel and performed by the Danish All Star Horns, Jan Glaesel on flugelhorn solo, string arrangement by Tomi Malm and Jeremy Lubbock, strings conducted by Dan Bornemark and performed by the Värmland Opera Sinfonietta.

Track Listing: (Composers)
1. Prelude (Tomi Malm)
Featuring David Foster on piano
2. In the Stone (David Foster, Maurice White & Allee Willis)
Performed by Bill Champlin
3. No Explanation (David Foster, Linda Thompson, Bill LaBaounty & Beckie Foster)
Performed by Bill LaBounty
4. Jojo (David Foster, David Lasley & Boz Scaggs)
Performed by Arnold McCuller
5. The Colour of My Love (David Foster & Arthur Janov)
Performed by Frank Adahl
6. Heart to Heart (David Foster, Kenny Loggings & Michael McDonald)
Performed by Jeff Pescetto
7. Fly Away (David Foster, Peter Allen & Carole Bayer Sager)
Performed by Robbie Dupree
8. Look What You've Done to Me (David Foster & Boz Scaggs)
Performed by Cecily Gardner
9. Through the Fire (David Foster, Tom Keane & Cynthia Weil)
Performed by Ole Borud
10. The Best of Me (David Foster, Jeremy Lubbock & Richard Marx)
Performed by Lisa Lovbrand
11. Nothin' You Can Do About It (David Foster, Jay Graydon & Steve Kipner)
Performed by Frank Adahl
12. Whatever We Imagine (David Foster, Jeremy Lubbock & Paul Gordon)
Performed by Bill Cantos
13. When Will the World Be Like Lovers (David Foster, Tom Keane & Robert Lamm)
Performed by Jeff Pescetto, Robbie Dupree, Frank Adahl, Bill Cantos, Arnold McCuller and Joe Pizzulo
14. Live Each Day (David Foster and Linda Thompson)
Performed by Warren Wiebe

Buy Fly Away at Amazon, CD Baby

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ketil Bjørnstad - Remembrance

Ketyl Bjornstad - Rememberance

Norwegian pianist Ketil Bjørnstad always paints a serene Scandinavian landscape through his beautiful compositions, unique style matched by the distinctive performances of his long-time musician colleagues. This is felt throughout all his recordings, especially those under ECM Records, which are perfect examples of how some music can appeal to anybody regardless of the style. “Remembrance” is no exception. Tenor saxophonist Tore Brunborg reminds us of other great Scandinavian talents such as Jan Garbarek by adding palettes of melodies tinged with Scandinavian folklore while veteran drummer Jon Christensen remains always inventive as his usually ultra-sensitive drumming might seem like disorderly free drumming at will to the non-connoisseur just as it is a legendary performance to those familiar with his great style. This mixture makes “Remembrance” a reflective, introspective recording, well suited for those times when peace, relaxation, concern and a look at one's inner self are necessary. Recorded and mixed by Jan Erik Kongshaug.
Track Listing:
1. Remembrance I
2. Remembrance Ii
3. Remembrance Iii
4. Remembrance Iv
5. Remembrance V
6. Remembrance Vi
7. Remembrance Vii
8. Remembrance Viii
9 Remembrance Ix
10. Remembrance X
11. Remembrance Xi
Buy Remembrance at Amazon or