Oh wow! Talk about something that is refreshingly different in terms of what I usually have the opportunity to review. Julia (Cunningham) offers up something that is sultry, sexy, amazing and smooth – jazz music with the focus on her favoured instrument the harp.
Cunningham is from Los Angeles now, but actually has roots here in Saskatchewan which says something abut the fertile ground of Prairie soil in terms of musical inspirations. Those roots are seen clearly with the cut Saskatchewan Sunset which would easily inspire any jazz composer.
As you might expect this is an instrumental effort, thankfully so, because you would not want vocals taking away from the music here. By the way it's one of the best cuts here too.
What Julia has laid down here is music that is relaxing, as smooth jazz often is, made more so by the lyrically sound of the harp.
It helps that Cunningham is obviously a skilled musician too. Check out her website at www.soulharp.com, which is where I found her “special performances have included concerts with Luciano Pavarotti (Pavarotti and Friends) in Modena, Italy, concert tours throughout Europe, North America, Australia & The Middle East, appearances with The Stars of the Musicals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and televised Christmas concerts at the Vatican in Rome.” That's pretty impressive on any resume, and illustrates just how good this gal is.
There are 11 cuts on this CD, only one under three minutes in length, and most going to four minutes and beyond, which is a definite plus for the listener. The more of this girl moving her fingers skillfully over the harp strings the better.
This is definitely a CD which is worth seeking out. Wonderful music throughout.
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.23, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada