Fiery Latin rhythms, soothing Pacific island sounds, red hot fusion, burning funk, lilting Scottish airs, gentle New Age sounds, dark film atmospheres, moody and delicate orchestral music, crashing big band jazz -- all of it infused with a smouldering spiritual and sensual immediacy. How do you fit all this into one CD? Composer/performer Russell A. Cardwell has been doing it for years. Since the age of four, Russell Cardwell has been writing and performing his own kind of music -- for over 45 years now -- professionally for nearly 35 of those years. During that time he has played in such groups as Ralph Bostoe, Acme Music, The Others, Ezekiel and the Grace Notes, Sons of Thunder, Groovy Thang, Urban Harvest, Project 19, Hearts Afire, and Russell Cardwell and Friends. His body of work runs the gamut from jazz fusion, rock, oldies, classical, new age, country, experimental, gospel, choral, orchestral, avant garde, and contemporary Christian music. He has written numerous jingles and scores for commercials for local and national organizations, such as American Cancer Society and NPR. He wrote and performed 'live soundtracks' for an Austin theatre company, played in the symphony, and has scored short films and radio programs. For many years and many sessions, he has worked as a studio musician, recording engineer, arranger, and producer. And as an author, he has written feature articles for major music publications such as Electronic Musician and EQ Magazine. He currently lives in Southeast Texas, where he serves in the worship ministry at Christian Life Community Church in Port Neches, Texas, and performing locally with with secular and Christian bands. The music on this CD was originally written and recorded in the late 80's and early 90's. The original masters were destroyed, and the recordings were painstakingly reconstructed over the course of 18 months. The songs were restored and remastered from copies of the original recordings, some digital and some analog, on which the media was deteriorating. 'This project was conceived as an experiment in doing an album entirely with the keyboard technology available,' says Cardwell, 'Not a novel idea now, but a fresh concept at the time.' 'While I really like the way this turned out,' he adds, 'I don't think I would do this again. It captures a big part of where I was at during that part of my life. So it has historical value for me. But I prefer working with a variety of instruments and collaborating with other musicians and vocalists. Still, this really is good music, and what surprises me most is that it doesn't seem to have aged.' These arrangements are breathtaking in their richness of detail, their breadth of style, and superabundance of drama and emotion they express. Although it sometimes resembles Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Herbie Hancock, Captain Beefheart, Dave Grusin, David Lanz, Igor Stravinsky, Gyorgy Ligeti, or Leos Janacek, this music always sounds like Russell A. Cardwell, a composer with a voice all his own. If you like music that continues to disclose new and hidden facets with every listen, which spans the whole range of human emotion and expression, you cannot go wrong with Awakening, by Russell A. Cardwell.
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