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Messer, Ken: The Phoenix Project

This is Ken Messer's first album release after a decade of being 'sidelined' from the music scene. He hopes his return will be like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Messer is the arranger and composer and also contributes the soprano saxophone. Joining Messer on this project areHappy the Man's Stan Smith, on electric and acoustic guitars; Brad Mellin on acoustic bass and electric cello; Ryan Jewell on drums; and Ted Royalty on vibraphone and steel pans.

This is great jazz music full of a variety of flavors and multiple instruments that will calm and relax you through the day in this fast paced world in which we all live.

'Peek-A-Boo' starts us off just as the title suggests with that melody which mimics the sound of the title set to a morning awakening to dawn with sax and vibraphone. The bass notes and guitar melodies are relaxing and full of dreamy rhythms.

On the other hand, 'Evening Embers' takes us out to dinner by the fireside or since it's nearly summer, somewhere near a fire pit on the beach. The vibraphone is just wonderful and will relax you almost into a dream state. The guitar, bass work, and cello sounds will further sooth and make the evening flow calmly. The sax adds flavor and variety to the mix.

'Small Twirl, Big Swirl' is a cool reggae themed presentation with great guitar and bass rhythms set to wonderful sax and vibraphone tones.

Imagine waking quietly to vibraphone and soft electric guitar and you have the opening to 'Misty Morning'. A soft quiet and relaxing flow into the day as the sax joins in to help smooth the feeling even more. This is the longest track, and by the end you will be gliding through your morning cup of coffee wishing you could start each day this way.

'Manitou' is full of drum rhythms at the opening, adding variety to the over sound of the production. Then the vibraphone opens up with a quicker pace as the sax joins in to build volume. The vibraphone weaves an intricate melody as the sticks and drums support the rhythm well.

'Summit' provides you with music which will capture the feeling of climbing to the top of a mountain and viewing the panorama before you. It is full of electric cello and guitar that add dramatic effect to the visuals you may be contemplating. The vibraphone is used so well throughout this album and adds to the soundscape well here.

Track Listing
1. Peek-A-Boo
2. Evening Embers
3. Small Twirl, Big Swirl
4. Misty Morning
5. Manitou
6. Summit

Added: June 4th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 1731
Language: english

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