David Lanz | A Cup of Moonlight

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New Age: New Age New Age: Adult Alternative Moods: Instrumental
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A Cup of Moonlight

by David Lanz

Harkening back to his romantic style of "Cristofori's Dream" and "Return to the Heart", this is a new collection of newly re-mastered solo piano compositions recorded between 1999-2006.
Genre: New Age: New Age
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Lover's Tarot
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4:10 $0.99
2. The Butterfly
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4:12 $0.99
3. Ambient Plains
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4:28 $0.99
4. In Stillness
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6:36 $0.99
5. A Song of Soul
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3:50 $0.99
6. True Nature
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4:31 $0.99
7. A Cup of Moonlight
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5:43 $0.99
8. Along the Garden Wall
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3:27 $0.99
9. Heaven and Earth
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10:37 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
PLAYING THE PIANO, Lanz says, is his greatest form of self-expression, especially at his concert performances where he effortlessly blends his emotionally affecting music ("a gift to the soul" wrote a recent reviewer) with audience involvement and his own charming comic take on life.

Born on June 28, 1950, Lanz started his performing career in his early teens back in the mid 1960s playing keyboards with local rock bands and then years later as a solo act, deftly playing blues and jazz songs in small smoky clubs, until he "stumbled" onto a different path in the early 1980s.

Lanz's solo recordings include the landmark CRISTOFORI'S DREAM, which was Number One on Billboard's first adult alternative/new age chart for 27 weeks and eventually sold platinum. All in all he has sold well over 4 million records.

The year 2000 brought David his first Grammy nomination for the new age-orchestral rock event EAST OF THE MOON, produced by legendary rock producer Hugh Padgham, who has also produced Super-Stars Phil Collins, Sting, and Melissa Etheridge.

Hal Leonard, America’s largest music publisher, has released a dozen song books of his music. “The most fulfilling thing by far”, David says, “is meeting young musicians who get excited about making music by hearing and playing my own. I think back to how important my influences were as a kid, and I feel blessed to play that role for others."

David and Gary Stroutsos have just launched their own music label, “Sound Traveler". Look for several new releases from them starting in 2007.


Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

Lanz at his best!
”A Cup of Moonlight” is a newly remastered and revised version of David Lanz’s independent 2003 solo piano release by the same name. The stunning cover artwork by David Louis Quinn is only the beginning. Two additional songs that were recorded in 2006, a warmer piano sound, and some interesting edits to the existing songs make this truly a “new and improved” CD. All of the previous pieces have been shortened by as little as a few seconds to the 6 1/2 minute reduction of Lanz’s meditation piece, “Heaven and Earth,” which was seventeen minutes long on the first album. David Lanz and flautist Gary Stroutsos, his collaborator on the 2005 Narada release, “Spirit Romance,” have joined forces and created the new SoundTraveler label; this is one of their first releases.

“Lover’s Tarot,” one of my favorite tracks, is classic Lanz - a strong, flowing, bittersweet melody combines with a catchy rhythm and is played with deep emotion. “The Butterfly” is also easy to identify as a Lanz composition. The other four original composed (as opposed to improvised) pieces are a bit more abstract and, well, artistic, for lack of a better word. Those who felt that Lanz was becoming too commercial on his Decca releases will love this music. Playing from the heart is what Lanz does best, and that’s what this album is about. The title track is stunningly beautiful - very spare, but passionate, with lots of open space. All of these pieces are gentle and introspective, yet deeply emotional - some of Lanz’ best work, I think.

“Ambient Plains” is one of the two new tracks. The openness and spareness of the piece give a very peaceful feeling and suggest vast open spaces. The piece also serves as a tribute to two influences on Lanz’s music, George Winston and Floyd Cramer - beautiful and very evocative. “Along the Garden Wall” is the other new piece. Extraordinary in its quiet simplicity and introspection, it was inspired by the overwhelming emotions Lanz experienced while visiting the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. “Taps” is woven into the fabric of the piece, honoring those who lost their lives as well as the loved ones left behind. It is fitting that the CD concludes with “Heaven and Earth,” a piece built on a seven-note sequence that Lanz calls the “angel scale.” Sequences and variations on the theme evolve over the course of the piece, creating a musical meditation for stress relief and healing.

Even if you have a copy of the earlier “Cup of Moonlight,” I highly recommend this newer version. With his new label, David Lanz has full control of his music and is free to explore in new directions - a very good thing for his artistry and for us, his fans! Recommended!

Music Design

David Lanz at his best
A CUP OF MOONLIGHT certainly proves one thing - David Lanz is at his best when he goes solo. Added strings of smooth jazz textures do sometimes add a greater sense of romance to his elegant melodies, but when all the excess is stripped away and the real Lanz shows, it's magic. The album is easily his most pensive and subtle to date, with cascading piano that's like comfort food for the ears. For example, on the track "Ambient Plains," Lanz takes a spacious, almost zen-like approach to the melody, where every note feels like it has a purpose. Others, like "A Song of Soul" and "True Nature" display Lanz's compositional prowess with light, reflective melodies. Put this album on when you want to hear something that will relax you. - Music Design In Review