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Album Review: Beauty and Fire
Tomas Michaud
Cover image of the album Beauty and Fire by Tomas Michaud
Beauty and Fire
Tomas Michaud
2010 / Starland Music
59 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Tomas Michaud’s Beauty and Fire is a triumphant musical celebration of passion and joy expressed in a world-fusion style that blends “nouveau-flamenco” with new age, smooth jazz, rhythms from Latin and South America, and occasional tropical touches. Michaud began his exploration of music as a young child and found his first love in the guitar at the age of fourteen. He has traveled extensively, savoring the music of each region and assimilating the various styles into his own unique musical language. The twelve tracks on this exciting album range from exuberant and playful to slow and sensual. The combination is intoxicating. Michaud performs on flamenco guitars, and his ensemble includes grand piano and keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, tabla, violin, and cello.

Beauty and Fire begins with the title track, a gorgeous piece with a softly swaying rhythm and a mood of warm contentment. Occasional Middle Eastern passages add a touch of mystery - a great start! “Embrace in the Mist” is cool, exotic and enchanting. “Tango in Paradise” begins with a beautiful guitar solo that adds more instrumentation as it evolves. I love this piece and the way it becomes more intense as it develops. Don Turney’s piano solo smolders! “My Secret Cave” is a lighthearted dance for joy - pure fun with a rhythm! “Tribute” picks up the pace considerably, with guitar, violin, castanets, and drum soaring skyward - another favorite! “Morning Grace” spills over with warm tranquility while “Living On the Wind” expresses an easy-going sense of freedom - beauties, both! “Two Hearts Into One” closes the set with an intimate and sensual love song. Guitar and violin seem to be intertwined in a dance or embrace with light percussion accenting their passion. The piano in the second half of this piece is wonderful!

What a great album! Beauty and Fire is available from worldmelodies.com, Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes. Very highly recommended!
January 24, 2011
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Guitar musicKathy's Favorites: 2011