Rocky Fretz | The Path Ahead...and steps then taken.

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The Path Ahead...and steps then taken.

by Rocky Fretz

Organic, acoustic piano driven New Age Music. Produced by Will Ackerman founder of Windham Hill featuring Michael Manring, T-Bone Wolk, David Cullen, Eugene Freisen, Jeff Oster, Patrick O'leary, Will Ackerman, Derrik Jordan, Dan Greenspan and Noah Wilding
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
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1. Kim's Song
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4:15 $0.99
2. Leave It All Behind
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4:09 $0.99
3. New Life Lullaby
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3:04 $0.99
4. A Pleasant Stay
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3:43 $0.99
5. Steps Then Taken
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6:49 $0.99
6. Will's Mountain
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3:30 $0.99
7. Childhood's Hymn
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2:24 $0.99
8. Thoughts Are Us
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3:42 $0.99
9. All We Are (is In This Moment Now)
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3:26 $0.99
10. Pictures
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5:03 $0.99
11. Stickney Brook Dance
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3:39 $0.99
12. The Path Ahead
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5:59 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Will Ackerman, Grammy Award winning recording artist and founder of legendary record label Windham Hill Records (George Winston, Alex DeGrassi, Michael Hedges, Liz Story...) says this after producing Rocky's newest CD "THE PATH AHEAD...and steps then taken"

"I think this story says a lot. I was performing a concert about a year ago along with a handful of some pretty talented people. I invited Rocky Fretz up to do a piece and the audience just went nuts.

I’d always thought Rocky was brilliant, but seeing the reaction of the audience went a long way to convince me that the world sees him in the same way."

Rocky moves between heartbreakingly gentle beauty and driving rhythm with utter grace, somehow merging these worlds seamlessly in his composition.

He is as gifted a pianist as I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. He has 30 years as a performer and recording artist behind him and it shows. He is a consummate performer and a marvelous composer.

Will Ackerman
Windham County, Vermont

Rocky comments: "I am very proud of this new CD. Working with Will Ackerman and Grammy winning engineer Corin Nelsen along with all these award winning and famous recording artists was the highlight of my music career thus far."

This CD is 1/2 solo piano and 1/2 accompanied...of those a few are duo performances and a few are full ensemble productions featuring all the players listed above.

"The Path Ahead...and steps then taken has been submitted for consideration for the 2010 Grammy Award nominations.


Reviews


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REVIEWS NEW AGE

Un álbum fascinante, lleno de fuerza y buenas vibraciones!.
The Path Ahead es la octava publicación del compositor y pianista Rocky Fretz. Compuesto por doce tracks sumamente interesantes y un regalo para los oídos sin duda alguna. Producido por el ganador del premio Grammy y guitarrista Will Ackerman que, junto a otros grandes artistas de reconocido renombre, colaboran con Rocky, y que son los siguientes: David Cullen (Guitarra acústica), Eugene Friesen (Chelo), Jeff Oster (Fliscorno), Derrik Jordan (Percusión), Michael Manring (Bajo Fretless), T-Bone Wolk (Bajo eléctrico, mandolina y acordeón), Dan Greenspan (Bajo doble), Patrick O'Leary (Bajo eléctrico), Steve Schuck (Violín) y Noah Wilding (Voz). Un álbum muy completo en todos los aspectos, donde podemos encontrar melodías delicadas, con mucho ritmo o sencillamente poderosas que dejan sin aliento al oyente.

"Kim's Song" es la primera pista del álbum. Una pieza dedicada a su esposa Kimberly, donde una cálida y romántica melodía envuelve al oyente. Un comienzo misterioso de arpegios, acompañado de algunas notas altas que hacen su aparición, dan paso a la maravillosa y sutil melodía que, en su cenit, se torna emocionante.

"Leave It All Behind" es sinónimo de paz. Una sencilla melodía, muy delicada, perfecta para momentos de meditación. El fluir lento de notas y acordes invitan al oyente a hacer, por un instante, una cariñosa y nostálgica mirada al pasado. Pura delicadeza!.

En la dulce "New Life Lullaby" el piano de Rocky acompaña a la tierna voz de Noah que hace su aparición en el minuto y medio de reproducción. Con un comienzo hipnotizador de acordes, la bella y sensible melodía va naciendo de entre las manos de Rocky creando el ambiente perfecto para el descanso!. Me encanta!.

"A Pleasant Stay" es amable. De carácter sedante y arropador es la melodía que reproduce Rocky con sutiles rasgueos de acordes altos y delicadas progresiones. Una feliz pieza que brinda un ambiente agradable y placentero. Bendita paz!.

Sencillamente sublime, rítmica y poderosa es "Steps Then Taken". El enérgico piano de Rocky es acompañado por la asombrosa percusión de Derrik, el bajo de Michael, supongo, la expresiva guitarra de Will, el rápido violín de Steve y la mandolina de T-Bone; y todos ellos, marcando un ritmo fascinante que da vida a una de las piezas más sorprendentes que he oído nunca; un tema que llena de fuerza y optimismo. Una de mis favoritas. Wow!.

Después del enérgico ritmo del track anterior, Rocky nos presenta una pista más calmada y nostálgica, pero de gran expresividad, "Will's Mountain". Las manos de Rocky corren por el teclado con gran sentimiento, dotando a la pieza de momentos delicados y emocionantes. Me encanta!.

De nuevo, la percusión, la guitarra y el bajo acompañan al piano de Rocky en "Chilhood's Hymn". Una melodía que permanece casi inalterable de principio a fin, con pocas variaciones, alterando en ocasiones las notas del piano por notas altas. Una pieza risueña, dotada de gran frescura.

Con melancolía "Thoughts Are Us" nace de tristes y delicados marcado de acordes bajos. Un tema sumamente abatido, y aunque sencillo, este posee un poderoso y cautivador carácter que aflige al oyente. Tremendamente triste!.

El chelo de Eugene abre con tristeza "All We Are (In This Moment Now)". Una pieza que guarda una apasionada y bellísima melodía que dibuja el piano de Rocky. Delicadeza y sentimiento en estado puro!. Asombrosa!.

"The Pictures" es una pieza para piano escrita por Will Ackerman y a la que da vida con gran dulzura Rocky. La melodía fluye con gracia, donde suaves acordes que toca la mano izquierda, sirven de acompañamiento a la cariñosa melodía que reproduce la diestra. Una pieza entrañable!. Otra de mis favoritas!.

Uno de los más bellos y extraordinarios solos de piano lo posee "Stickney Brook Dance". Las manos de Rocky bailan por el teclado dando vida a una hermosa y seductora melodía. Una pieza contemplativa, inspirada en la bella imagen que ofrece un arroyo a su paso por bellos parajes naturales. Sencillamente maravillosa!.

"The Path Ahead" es la continuación de la rítmica "Steps Then Taken". Con una primera parte más sosegada, el piano marca delicados acordes, mientras la guitarra eléctrica sigue su melodía furtiva. La segunda parte es simplemente fascinante, de nuevo la alegre percusión y demás instrumentos que acompañaron al piano de Rocky en "Steps Then Taken", hacen su aparición dando vida a otra de las piezas rítmicas de este trabajo. Otra de mis favoritas y un tema perfecto para culminar!.


Rocky nos muestra un trabajo rico en matices, donde un sólo de piano consigue estremecer al oyente y justamente después, un ritmo enérgico y poderoso lo llena de fuerza y de buenas vibraciones. Con maestría, Rocky ha compuesto prodigiosos temas, algunos de ellos, con instrumentos que se combinan en perfecta armonía. Es fácilmente deducible por qué este trabajo ha sido el ganador al Mejor Álbum New Age por IMA y por qué formará parte de los álbumes nominados a "Mejor Álbum RNA del Año 2010". En todos los aspectos, The Path Ahead es un álbum altamente recomendable!.
reviewsnewage.com
04/06/10

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"The Path Ahead ... And Steps Then Taken" is pianist/composer Rocky Fretz’s eighth album to date, but my first exposure to his music. Where have I been? This outstanding album was produced by the legendary Will Ackerman and won the 2009 Independent Music Award for Best New Age Album - with very good reason, I might add. Most of the twelve tracks are solo piano, but Ackerman and some of the Imaginary Road Studio regulars including Ackerman himself (acoustic guitar), Eugene Friesen (cello), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn), Michael Manring (fretless bass), T-Bone Wolk (electric bass, mandolin, accordion), and Noah Wilding (vocals) appear on a few ensemble tracks. The music is varied, ranging from delicate and soothing to more upbeat and energetic, clearly demonstrating Fretz’s versatility as an artist. I have heard some really good music so far this year, but this is near the top of the list. Warm, passionate, and optimistic, this is music to savor over and over again, discovering new things each time.

"The Path Ahead" begins with “Kim’s Song,” a gorgeous piano solo written for Fretz’s wife. Gracefully flowing with just a touch of country flavor here and there, it’s a heartfelt tribute. “Leave It All Behind” is slow, dreamy, and introspective. “New Life Lullaby” brings in subtle bass and Noah Wilding’s haunting voice, adding washes of soothing color behind the gentle piano melody. “A Pleasant Stay” is a lazy, warm piece of solo piano tranquility - beyond “pleasant” and more like “blissful”! Love it!!! “Steps Then Taken” picks up the tempo, adding percussion with an infectious rhythm, jazz strings, and guitars to the piano, this time more of a percussion instrument - an awesome collaboration. Great stuff! “All We Are (Is In This Moment Now)” is a stunning ballad that overflows with deep emotion and elegant beauty. “Childhood’s Hymn” is a quiet, reverent meditation. I really don’t have a favorite piece on this album - they are all exceptional - but if I had to choose just one, it would probably be “Thoughts Are Us,” a soft-spoken but powerfully emotional duet for cello and piano. Will Ackerman’s “Pictures” is the only piece that wasn’t composed by Fretz, and this graceful and evocative piano solo is a lovely addition to the eclectic mix. “Stickney Brook Dance” is a study of the constant movement of a brook: sometimes slow and lingering, sometimes rushing, sometimes deep, sometimes shallow, always sparkling and pure. “The Path Ahead” begins as a slow, thoughtful piano piece with guitar accompaniment. The second movement is much livelier, adding percussion and strings as well as a sense of excitement and adventure. What a fantastic album!

If Rocky Fretz is new to you (or if he isn’t), trust me and get yourself a copy of "The Path Ahead." They don’t get much better than this! I give it my highest recommendation.