Luna Blanca | Provence

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Latin: Flamenco Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Provence

by Luna Blanca

Forerunner to Luna Blanca’s CD El Dorado was the celebrated flagship album Provence, which in retrospect is, one of the best Nouveau Flamenco releases from coast to coast (ZMR Music Awards among top 5: "Best Instrumental Album – Acoustic –")
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
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1. Driving
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4:24 $0.99
2. Mistral
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4:22 $0.99
3. Crème Brûlée
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5:36 $0.99
4. Côte d'Azur
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4:23 $0.99
5. Rosé
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5:35 $0.99
6. Siesta
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3:47 $0.99
7. Café
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4:26 $0.99
8. Gipsy
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9. Françoise
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5:33 $0.99
10. La Maison Bleue
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11. Camargue
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12. Sunset
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Their music comes from eternity

Luna Blanca returns with their new album “Provence”. And this comeback is stunning! Luna Blanca invites the listeners into a World Café where people feel comfortably relaxed regardless of nationalities and social origins.

The band plays fine new flamenco. Luna Blanca's music is very lush and vivid. It is like a carpet full of bright colors. It will not leave the listener unaffected. You will be swept up by the virtuoso music of Luna Blanca. It will without fail plunge you into a whirlpool of refined emotions.

Luna Blanca weaves a delicate lacework of sparkling melodies. Their music has one very rare peculiarity. There are moments of silence positioned in the midst of the full of energy and passion of Luna Blanca’s music. In general I’d like to characterize the music as new meditative flamenco. The motion and the silence go together perfectly in the bright compositions of Luna Blanca. Their music comes from eternity, and at the same time it is very modern.

When you listen to the album “Provence” you realize that our world and every person in it are very rich and we all are born to be happy and joyful. The music of Luna Blanca brings the sensation of a celebration and therefore you will want to listen to it time and again.

Serge Kozlovsky
www.sergekozlovsky.com


Reviews


to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Provence" is the fourth release from the German nouveau-flamenco group Luna Blanca. Named for an area in the south of France known for inspiring many artists of different genres and media, "Provence" is a musical tour of that region from a very sunny and optimistic point of view. The two primary musicians of the group are founders Richard Hecks (lead acoustic guitar) and Helmut Graebe (piano and organ); the duo also composed all of the music on this album. They are joined by Bino Dola on rhythm guitar and second lead guitar; Clemens Paskert on bass, percussion, and additional keyboards; and Uwe Gronau on organ and accordion. I know I am dating myself by saying so, but some of this album reminds me of a combination of Booker T. & the MGs and The Tijuana Brass, and by that I mean that the music is catchy, upbeat, and easily accessible to just about anyone with a pulse. Growing up, I had a real passion for the lively and sometimes poignant instrumentals that populated the Top 40 charts from time to time, and some of these songs take me right back to that simpler, more easy-going era. No complaints there!

Our tour of "Provence" begins with “Driving,” a sweet and relaxed piece for guitar, flute, and gentle percussion that sets the mood of the album. “Mistral” is one of my favorites. Named for a wind that blows in the area creating a special kind of light, the rhythm is effortless while Uwe Graebe stirs some excitement on the Hammond organ. “Creme Brulee” is all sweetness and romance with a gentle sway and beautiful guitar melody. “Rose” is another favorite. It begins as a piano solo and then the guitar and laid back percussion enter to the sound of an audience roaring its approval as the theme changes. There is more piano in this piece than in the previous tracks, and it’s a lovely way to express this tender ballad. I love “Cafe,” which opens with the sound of a cell phone and acoustic guitar playing in a crowd setting. After about a minute, the piece shifts gears, adding percussion and trumpets here and there. The infectious rhythm and warm melody get my toes tapping every time. I also like the breezy guitar in “Francoise.” Appropriately enough, the album closes with “Sunset,” which includes piano, guitar, and male vocals, ending our day with relaxing warmth.

"Provence" is a great accompaniment to just about any activity where an easy mood and catchy melodies and rhythms are appropriate. It’s also very enjoyable with focused listening. Recommended!

REVIEWS NEW AGE

Puro Duende!.
Desde su primer álbum, "Guitar Island", el dúo formado por el guitarrista Richard Heck y el pianista Helmut Graebe ha sido fiel a un sonido fresco y lleno de ritmo, donde las melodías viajan de costa a costa perfilando el litoral mediterráneo. Su última publicación, "Provence", es una composición de brillantes y desenfadadas melodías a medio camino entre un nuevo sonido flamenco y el relajante chill out. Para este último álbum, la banda cuenta con la participación de músicos como: Bino Dola (guitarras), Clemens Paskert (bajo, percusión y teclados), Juan y Carolina (cantantes) y como artista invitado, Uwe Gronau (Hammond B-3 y acordeón).

"Driving" es una de las grandes composiciones de Provence. Con un notable ritmo marcado por las guitarras de acompañamiento y las percusiones, Richard puntea junto a unos vientos una melodía radiante, pegadiza. Una pieza esplendorosa que invita al baile y aleja cualquier preocupación. Una de mis preferidas!.

El sonido más Chill Out aparece por primera vez en "Mistral", un tema donde predominan unas percusiones muy bien definidas, el piano y los alucinantes solos del hammond B-3 del teclista Gronau. Una música instrumentalmente fantástica. De nuevo, Luna Blanca nos sorprende con su frescura. Otra de mis preferidas!.

En "Crème Brûlée" nos llama la atención su elaborado comienzo de cuerdas, una apertura interesante para una de las composiciones más mágicas del CD. Un compás hipnótico formado por suaves percusiones, guitarras y teclados nos invita a pasear con serenidad por las costas mediterráneas y disfrutar de una espectacular puesta de sol junto al mar. Qué maravilla de pieza!. Wow!.

Como no podía ser de otra forma, el sonido de las olas del mar dan paso a una guitarra flamenca que acompaña a las voces de Juan y Carolina, que con duende, le aportan ese toque flamenco al tema. Una pieza que mezcla con originalidad el nuevo flamenco con el New Age. Fascinante y con una estupenda chispa andaluza. Me gusta!.

El entrañable y apasionado piano de Helmut florece en un directo alucinante haciendo la introducción a la guitarra de Richard. Una grabación en vivo que conserva de principio a fin un ritmo elegante y alegre a golpe de guitarras y en la que Richard interpreta incansable la melodía principal. Posiblemente una de las guitarras más hermosas de este CD.

"Siesta" hace honor a su nombre. Piano y guitarra forman un dúo alucinante, un sonido roto por la intervención de algunos teclados que se unen al juego establecido por Richard y Helmut con sus instrumentos. Un ambiente lleno de calma creado por la música, perfecto para momentos delicados, momentos inolvidables. Otra de mis preferidas!.

"Café". Un flamenco diferente, con un ritmo fulminante mezclado con voces que alientan al oyente a bailar bajo un enérgico conjunto musical. Una música rápida, despreocupada y sobre todo, animada con la guitarra de Richard al frente. Me gusta!.

Emocionante y tierna a la vez es "Gipsy", un tema donde cada nota compone la majestuosidad de la melodía y en la que los cálidos arpegios de Heck se unen al estupendo piano de Helmut. Una composición soñadora, artífice de paisajes llenos de color y esencia del descanso.

Y regresa el ritmo, pero con cierta delicadeza. "Françoise" es el primer tema que ofrece algo de protagonismo al piano de Graebe, interpretando algunos solos magistrales y alternándose con la incansable guitarra de Heck, un dialogo fascinante que se destaca sobre teclados y que deja asombrado al oyente. Otra maravilla de Provence!.

"Le Maison Bleue" es sencillamente sorprendente. No existe una sola composición en este álbum que no mantenga al oyente expectante en todo momento; "Le Maison Bleue" es una de estas piezas. El ritmo envuelve por completo dejándose llevar por el increíble piano y las guitarras. Qué fuerza!.

En "Camargue" el Sr. Gronau hace alarde una soberbia pericia con el acordeón. Una pieza optimista, danzante, donde algunos instrumentos como piano, guitarra, violín o acordeón entran un apasionante juego musical, destacando sobre otros para interpretar la vertiginosa pieza!. Wow!.

El final más flamenco y puro lo escribe "Sunset". Alejándose excesivamente del Chill Out o del New Age en un arranque flamenco, donde el cante es espectacular y en la que la guitarra de Heck rasguea y puntea en medio de ese profundo cante. Esta pieza es increíble. El final perfecto para este CD. Otra de mis preferidas!.


Aires andaluces, algo de rumba y sobre todo mucha originalidad es la firma de Luna Blanca para su último álbum, Provence. Un CD donde la frescura y un ritmo muy bien definido son los principales encantos de este. La guitarra de Heck y el piano de Helmut encuentran la melodía perfecta en todo momento, incansable y sumamente hermosa. Composiciones perfectas para un álbum sorprendente. Provence es un álbum muy altamente recomendable. Escúchelo!.

reviewsnewage.com
11/02/11

John P. Olsen / NewAgeMusicWorld.Com / NewAgeMusic.nu

New Flamenco Music of Luna Blanca
Luna Blanca is a prominent Nouveau Flamenco ensemble from Bocholt Germany that has perhaps become the celebrated toast of the town in another part of the world by naming their latest Contemporary Instrumental album after a beautiful region of Southeastern France, amidst the countries of Italy and Spain, with a seaside boarder along the glistening coastal waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Provence is the name of this admirable new release by Luna Blanca, along with the region of Southeastern France highly prized by a warmer climate, gourmet cuisine and regional quality vineyards, creating the picture-perfect setting for Luna Blanca’s new release that greatly succeeds at intertwining these luxurious qualities of refinement into their own creation of beauty. Luna Blanca selected the nearby locality of Provence for a good reason since many famous authors, poets, and painters like Vincent van Gogh & Pablo Picasso had acquired inspiration for their artistic masterpieces. After reading more about this region of Europe it became clear to me why Luna Blanca members regularly travel to Provence for their creative inspiration, and it appears everything was well designed during their masterful adaptation. Luna Blanca is prevalent on an international level and where founding lead acoustic guitarist Richard Hecks, first trained in classical music initiated his crossover to New Flamenco and began writing the vibrant original compositions we hear today. Helmut Graebe is a principal member with spirited piano and organ rhythms and on Provence, Hecks and Graebe had an equal hand while composing their parts along with the instrumental compositions of talents Bino Dola on rhythm guitar, Clemens Paskert on bass, percussions, and added keyboards. Juan & Carolina provided some vocals and guest musician Uwe Gronau is featured on two songs playing organ and accordion. First song Driving sets the contemporary surroundings in motion for this pretty as a postcard destination in Nouveau Flamenco music and where everyone will be able to perceive their picturesque connection to the region of Provence in the first few measures. Colorful in every way, Driving like each of the 12 songs are unique by their united but singular identity. Gipsy & Francoise nicely exemplify this ever changing diversity since each have passionate melodies and charismatic rhythms which vary noticeably but interblend conclusively from song to song, representing one of many progressive attributes of this album in entirety. Mistral has a fascinating groove based melody with accented organ and keyboards parts exhibiting many fine upbeat runs in parallel time with exciting acoustic guitar rhythms. Café has a tantalizing setting by trumpet and accordion refrains among progressive guitar and piano melodies which introduce an alluring arrangement to the surroundings. Sunset & La Maison Bleue likewise display some great instrumentals plus the dynamic percussion rhythms heard on every song do more than merely lay the timing foundation for band members to build their melodies upon, so it is noticeable the percussion parts are a lively component in the total note by note Nouveau Flamenco atmosphere. Crème Brulee is an inviting song given the calm serene impression and one that resembles Siesta, where moderately timed guitar melodies with piano accompaniment establish a comfortable mood of relaxation while also conveying at the very same time, a fine impression akin to white tablecloth elegance while the boldly accented accordion composition in Camargue introduces an elevated amount of European ambience by the intriguing sentiment. Rosé is a song named after the house wine regularly served with the cuisine at local cafés and proportionate to the regional vineyards and fields of lavender, Rosé is an aromatic song for the senses too and while presented in more moderate time, the guitar and piano melodies fluently bring a fragrant bouquet of light ambience to the table. Cote d’Azur is a majestic song finely poised by graceful half step guitar chords and piano counter melody which paint a romanticized picture of the French Riviera, concluding this song with the sound of coastal waters moving across the Mediterranean seashore, and with everything considered I wonder if anyone could ask for anything more. Provence by Luna Blanca is an exciting new release, where admirable guitar and keyboard melodies express an anytime occasion for celebration. Together in unison, every member gives a brilliant performance and the spirited festive theme this new release portrays has the perfect entertainment setting. Casual and inviting by an open air sensibility, the members of Luna Blanca deserve every glass to be raised high in a toast of salutation. Cheers !