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MP3 Kat Epple and Chuck Grinnell - Azure Pieces of Life

This nature-inspired music is created on flutes and keyboards, and is melodic, intricate, intimate, and spellbinding. Flautist/composer, Kat Epple is also known as Emerald Web. Cover art by Robert Rauschenberg.

16 MP3 Songs
NEW AGE: Healing, JAZZ: Smooth Jazz

This original instrumental music is created on flutes and keyboard, and is spellbinding and flowing, with exquisite intricacies. This music can create a perfect relaxed and intimate atmosphere, can be used for massage, healing, rush hour traffic, or the office. It can also stand up to many listening sessions, as the melodies, chords, and textures are unique and complex, and are performed by two incredibly accomplished, innovative instrumentalists. Cover art by Robert Rauschenberg.

Eight time Emmy Award-winning composer and flautist, Kat Epple, has released 14 CDs of original music, both as a solo artist, and as a member of the groups, Emerald Web and White Crow. Her music is a blend of many styles including: Impressionistic, new age, classical, jazz, celtic, latin, island and world music. She has performed at the Guggenheim Museums and the US National Gallery, and composes and produces music for modern dance and television, including "National Geographic", and "Nova". She has traveled throughout the world, collecting flutes from other cultures which she features in her original compositions and CD releases.

Chuck Grinnell is an accomplished pianist, music/choral arranger and accompanist. He has traveled throughout the world performing and working on his second love - digital photography. He has directed stage plays and teaches piano. "Languages have always fascinated me and through music I try to express thoughts and emotions that would otherwise go unheard."

The music is performed and spontaneously composed by long-time friends, Kat and Chuck, and is inspired by the natural beauty of Southwest Florida where they now reside.

Other music by Kat Epple "Traces of Time" and "Manatee Dreams of Neptune" by Emerald Web

Review by Bill Binkelman

"Kat Epple, flutist for the pioneering new age/spacemusic duo Emerald Web from years past (her husband and partner in Emerald Web, Bob Stohl, passed away in 1990) is, thankfully, still recording wonderful music. Azure Pieces of Life, her collaboration with keyboard player Chuck Grinnell, is a recording "inspired by the natural beauty of Southwest Florida where they reside." Sixteen tracks range from breezy and cheery instrumentals to moody atmospheric selections that echo Emerald Web from albums such as Nocturne to jazzy numbers that evoke a cool hip vibe that speaks of nights aglow with neon lights. Epple plays a wide variety of flutes with virtuosity, flair, and feeling, while Grinnell handles piano, electric piano (check the back alley riffing on "Blue Heron"), and subtle synthesizers. Emerald Web fans - be advised that there are few outright synth/EM pieces here, if any at all. The sound is closer to a blend of acoustic new age, adult contemporary and jazz, with a splash of Native influences on some songs.

"Soaring Osprey" opens the CD with lilting flute circling, dipping, and performing appropriate acrobatics over rolling piano chords played in characteristic new age style, a la Lanz, Ciani, and the other romanticists. "Blue Heron," the next track, is my favorite, as the electric piano slinks underneath a sultry bass flute. The addition of snapping fingers in the background dials up the "oh so cool" factor even higher. Native influences (through the use of wooden flute) sprinkle "Calusa Shadow" with the spice of mystery and Grinnell''s synths color the background with "shadow" via washes and gentle tones. More superb electric piano graces "Catfish Tails" and once again Epple and Grinnell introduce a jazz element into their music, this time featuring flute trills and a homespun feel to the tune.

By now (track 6) it''s apparent how comfortable these two are playing with each other, Epple usually steps out front while Grinnell appears at ease handling the atmospheric accompaniment work (and doing an excellent job at it), although there are moments on the CD where the keyboards are thrust into the spotlight, e.g. some tracks open with extended solos on piano, such as "The Last Shell People" which has an air of quiet dignity to it.

From the relaxing somberness of "Crane Dance" (with subtle Asian-flavored keyboards, sounding a tad like a koto) to the warmth and friendliness of the romantic title track to the smooth synthesizers that flow through "Calusa Reflection" to the ten-minute long "Peace River" which contains many moments of drama and powerful performances stressing dynamism from both Epple and Grinnell, Azure Pieces of Life covers a broad spectrum of emotions. Peppered throughout the CD are minimal environmental sounds which add to the "feel" of the nature-inspired music within. When the listener is in the capable and passionate hands of superb musicians such as these two, he or she merely has to hit the "play" button, relax in his/her favorite chair, and let the recording work its magic.

I was thrilled to discover that Kat Epple is still making music and having heard her synergistic by-play with Chuck Grinnell, she apparently has discovered a simpatico musician who desires to travel the same musical route as she does. For us lucky listeners, it''s definitely "happy trails" ahead. The CD is joyfully recommended!"

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