by Mark Maxwell Abushady, NYC
PUT TO REST
In Put To Rest, Mike Tedesco offers a truly enjoyable extended play recording of six bright, wellproduced, original songs. The album commences with A Turn-Around – a rocking, upbeat jump into an album of surprises, both musical and lyrical. On all songs, Mr. Tedesco’s pleasing, rangy tenor and skillful piano technique are evident. The opening number is followed by the introspective I’ll Back Down, which illustrates some pleasingly idiosyncratic chord changes and melodic turns. Joined by Kirsten Maxwell on the titular Put To Rest, the two voices soar together in perfectly matched harmonies. Mike Tedesco’s poetic lyrics, combined with a sound best described as dynamic, fresh and alive, create a worthy offering. A standout is the epic and incredibly soulful Man Of The House where Tedesco really gets to wail! The closing number (The Other Side) is touching in its pleading earnestness. Mike Tedesco is joined by Mike Sorrentino (drums), Adam Baine (bass), Max Ross (guitar), Dan Rivera (violin), Marichelle Weill (viola), and Dan Grote (cello). Recommended!
COLOR ME HOME
Here’s a surprising offering. Starting with the songs of birds, joined by playful woodwinds and strings, and then uplifting voices like a chorus of forest spirits First Light is a joyful, stirring beginning to a different kind of listening experience. Melodic and elevating, it is followed by the beautiful The Pleasure of the Mourning Dove, which features Ms. Koldenhoven’s beautiful soprano. This is clearly one very talented and accomplished artist, listing songwriter, arranger, composer, lyricist, producer, educational speaker, consultant and “sonic therapist” amongst her talents. They all come to bear, no doubt, on this enchanting album. New Age, classical, soft pop, and Native American styles influence these therapeutic offerings. The songs certainly touch the child within (and the liner notes / lyrics are a coloring book as well), but the dreamy, melodic tones have substance, and are hypnotic, intimate and uplifting . . . absolutely mood-altering. Truly, these songs stopped me in my tracks, both individually and as a collection. Both instrumental and vocal/song offerings alternate. While titles such as Eternal Love’s Song and Embracing The Moment tell of the spiritual / new age leaning of the songs, there is substance to these pieces, and a definite style that sets the album off from the clichés many a new age album employs. Refreshing, uplifting, and recommended!