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Album Review: The Color of Sunshine
Lawrence Blatt
Cover image of the album The Color of Sunshine by Lawrence Blatt
The Color of Sunshine
Lawrence Blatt
2009 / LMB Music
49 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Color of Sunshine is guitar wizard Lawrence Blatt’s third acoustic guitar album. Out of the Woodwork (2006) and Fibonacci’s Dream (2008) were extremely impressive self-produced solo guitar efforts, but this time Blatt traveled to Will Ackerman’s studio in Vermont to record and collaborate with Ackerman and some of the musicians who work with him. The production qualities in The Color of Sunshine are flawless and the sound is exquisite. Several of the fourteen tracks are solo acoustic guitar, and others include wordless vocals, flugelhorn, bass, violin, piano, percussion, and ukulele. Most of the additional instrumentation is subtle, giving Blatt plenty of room to work his finger-picking magic.

The concept for the album is that light/color and sound/pitch are functions of vibrating waves that are similar and related. Music and moods are often described using the metaphor of color. From Blatt: “Given this natural relationship, I used colors as the inspiration for different moods and emotions on an entire album. I composed one piece after another working sequentially through the colors represented in the light spectrum which include red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. I then ordered the music on the CD in the sequence imposed by the light spectrum.” What a fascinating idea and what a great album!

Blatt begins with “Look to the Sun,” a quiet, gentle prelude that sets the tone of the album. The title track follows with warm shades of sound that include Jeff Oster on horn, Ackerman on additional guitar, and Blatt on baritone guitar, piano, and Hopi drum - a rich but soft-spoken piece. “Gray Salt Marsh” is pure contentment, and features Blatt on steel string guitar and T-Bone Wolk on bass. “InFrared - The Abyss” joyfully picks up the tempo a few notches and features vocals by Noah Wilding, Ackerman, and Blatt behind the guitar and light percussion. I especially like “Alhambra (The Red),” which is slightly mysterious and eerie. Steve Schuch’s violin adds very effective atmospheric touches. I also really like “Orange Blossom Honey,” a ukulele piece that almost dances out of the CD player! My favorite track is “Jaune (Yellow),” which is slow and graceful with an air of mystery. The violin again adds all the right touches, setting this piece soaring, while the gentle percussion grounds it with a mildly exotic flavor. Great stuff! “Mar Azul” has a lively Spanish style. Rock rhythms and a country attitude make “Black Rock Beach” a lot of fun. It’s a toe-tapper, but won’t jar you out of the relaxing mood.

Lawrence Blatt was New Age Reporter’s 2007 “Best New Artist” for good reason, and “\The Color Of Sunshine should put him back on the top of the charts. It is available from www.lawrenceblatt.com, amazon.com, cdbaby.com, iTunes, and other online outlets. Check it out!
May 19, 2009
This review has been tagged as:
Guitar music
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