Rob Martino's One Cloud is an all-instrumental album of solo Chapman Stick. There are no other instruments or voices here – it's all Chapman Stick.
The Chapman Stick is a wonderful instrument and followers of progressive rock will be familiar with it: its unique design, which combines elements of guitar, bass, piano and percussion, allows a musician to play what sound like multi-part arrangements. Martino is clearly an expert at the Stick and draws some beautiful music from it. He has amassed a considerable number of followers on YouTube and this debut CD hopes to draw advantage from that fan-base.
However, most progressive fans may find a whole album's worth of this music slightly uninspiring. It may be inspired by progressive rock but it comes over more as an exercise in ambience creation and the soundscapes on the album almost meld into one another. Even as ambient music, there would need to be more differentiation between pieces to sustain an album's worth of listening.
So, whilst the playing is exemplary and each individual piece is merit-worthy and enjoyable to listen to, you may be stretched over the album unless you are having a massage or something similar and need a pleasant, unobtrusive musical background. If you are into the "modern" way of listening to music, then I suggest you download "One Cloud" and "The Third Enigma": the first is whimsical and pretty and the latter, of all the compositions in this collection, is the best at showing off the capabilities of the Chapman Stick.
1) One Cloud (3:35)
2) The Long Circle (11:06)
3) Conscious Dream (5:15)
4) Cloud Dispersed (2:17)
5) Differential (5:27)
6) Turbulence (1:26)
7) Mighty Distant Star (6:11)
8) The Third Enigma (13:14)