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Friday, July 18, 2008

CD Review: David Arkenstone/Loren Gold/Nicholas Gunn/Johannes Linstead - Live!

Gemini Sun Records Presents: Live! Starring David Arkenstone, Loren Gold, Nicholas Gunn and Johannes Linstead
2008, Gemini Sun Records

Despite the "new age" moniker, you can't imagine a recording from the likes of David Arkenstone, Loren Gold, Nicholas Gunn or Johannes Linstead as boring or tired. But if you take all four of them and place them in an intimate concert setting, and allow them to play together in duos or groups as they see fit, and you're talking about the potential for magic! Live! is a CD/DVD featuring a 74 minute concert, and is musically breathtaking.

Before you do anything else, skip to the last track, Djunga, which sees all four taking the stage together with a full backing band. There is magic in the interplay for these four world-class musicians as they turn into the ultimate jam band for 7 1/2 minutes. Other highlights include Nicholas Gunn's Earth Bones, Loren Gold's For My Baby and Sunnyside, David Arkenstone's Dance In The Desert, and Johannes Linstead's Ambrosia. All of the recordings can be found on studio albums of the four musicians here, but the energy of the live performance is commanding, and there is a certain chemistry that just makes the studio recordings seem obsolete.

Live! is an effervescent cross-section of the four enduring stars on Gemini Sun Records' roster. The only drawback is that there are brief interview segments that overlay the openings of the songs. The information gleaned in these interview segments is interesting, but tends to detract from the recording. These segments were part of the DVD recording, and it is unfortunate that they couldn't be tracked out of the CD presentation. Otherwise, this is an amazing listen.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Live! At Gemini Sun Records . Live! Is available at most major music retailers.

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