Saturday, March 26, 2011



Portrait, Jack Phillips
Portrait, Jack Phillips

Portrait, Jack Phillips

Compositions for Piano and Keyboard 25th Anniversary Remastered Edition

by the Trax/Town Production Staff

We got the first copy of this disc in from a promotional mailing. Thanks to the artist for thinking of Trax Of The Town first!!

Russ Hildreth's production of Jack Phillips solo piano instrumentals is an interesting mixture of pop and new age. The minute and five second "Acrobats" could be a low-key Pictures At An Exhibition ("Nutrocker" in out-take form) from Emerson Lake & Palmer while "Portrait", at a little over two minutes, sweeps in...a prime candidate for the new Dark Shadows movie soundtrack, the seven+ tracks on this CD are an interesting journey. The longest title, "Bicycles", at seven and a half, is a cheerful dance with the lighter notes sparkling over darker bass tones. "Ambitions" is an expressive foray that repeats a marching line over a solitary drumbeat, an elegant change comes in that brings the instrumental full circle. "Touching" leans more towards New Age with a whispering synth that is soothing as well as compelling. The five minutes of "Misgivings" is a good progression from "Touching", though it takes a lot of brainwork to analyze songs for a review - one wants to just let the music wash over yourself without having to think, so keep that in mind, every listener gets something different out of music without words and lead singers. Which is why we like instrumental interludes or as a bed under the sports reports and such. To me "Painting" is just that. It's pretty and a pause before the track that was the reason this CD was sent to me right away. "Uncontrolled Fire" is Ronald Reagan's voice over a 1980s beat. It's a bit of culture shock for the Portrait CD, which probably makes a good point...knock the listener for a loop with a message song. The only vocal is from an ex-president and the synthetic drum sound is not too foreign from some of the tracks here. Putting it as the last track works as well. You can program in the CD if you want specific tunes, or play this at a party to surprise the they lull into their conversations the repeating Reagan voice "18-25" should turn some heads. Good stuff.

Winter Keeps Us Warm, Jack Phillips
To Whom It May Concern

Alowishus Para Tomas, Jack Phillips

Portrait, Jack Phillips

Music For Commuting - Ken Elkinson

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