CD Review: Eric Van Aro’s “Endless Roads” By Brian Arsenault

The last time I reviewed an album by this guy in early 2014, I complimented his reclaiming stellar jazz singing for the guys in the face of so many fine current female jazz singers.

This time, withEndless Roads, Eric Van Aro has reestablished the stripped down rock/pop sound amidst an avalanche of overdubbed, over-produced, echo chambered, synthetic slop so dominant today. (We won’t name the purveyors as they know who they are; unshaken TV commercials abound for their concert tours; Good Morning America appearances before overexcited pre-teens. You know the drill.)

Eric Van Aro

Eric himself writes that he has “been taught that the musical roads one can and should take are endless . . .” He may need to be careful, though, as the musical world has long since shown an obnoxious need to characterize artists and their art forms, neat little boxes to keep our tastes in without a lot of thought.

Eric, though, can find room for works by Pat Metheny, Laura Nyro, Randy Newman, Jimmy Page/Robert Plant, Bruno Mars and himself in the same album. Really.

Maybe the bravest piece is Mars’ “Just the Way You Are.” Reworking a big hit by a pop giant is to walk on the edge of unacceptable, as the original version is tucked so deeply into our musical consciousness. Singing along with the car radio and such. Eric pulls it off anyway by tipping his hat to the hit while singing it in his raspier, deeper way.

Eric Van Aro

The lesser known Zep piece “Friends” moves effortlessly from bluesy at the start to jazzy at the end.

“This Is Not America” opens the album and sets the rocking tone with Max Elli’s slick rock guitar opening. Elli is a strength throughout the album, weaving in, under and around Van Aro’s vocals as if they had played together for years. In actuality, they seem to have met musically on Endless Roads.

Eric’s artistic generosity means this could almost have been billed as Elli’s album with Eric providing vocals, rather like the long ago days of Jeff Beck with Rod Stewart.

He notes that on this album he “really tried to let the producer in me stay at home and let myself by guided by my producer and my musicians.”

Kudos to Giordano Colombo for his production. As noted, a clean, crisp, basic sound is quite rare in these days of dubbing to the max.

Drummer Giordano Colombo is solid throughout and really breaks out on “Stratus.” If there’s such a thing as rock scat singing, Eric shows it off here.

Nyro’s “And When I Die”, recorded memorably by Blood Sweat & Tears, adds a little country flavor and Randy Newman’s “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” has just a dash of Van Morrison flavor in Eric’s vocal.

The album closes with Van Aro’s co-written “One Life One Song” and as an earlier song notes: “. . . that’s the way to treat a friend.”

The friend in this case being any listener.

Endless Roads will be released on September 17.

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https://irom.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/cd-review-eric-van-aros-endless-roads/

(c)(p) 2015 The International Review of Music

#ericvanaro #endlessroads #brianarsenault #brunomars #jimmypage #lauranyro #ledzeppelin #patmetheny #randynewman #robertplant

INTERNATIONAL SINGING STAR ERIC VAN ARO DISPLAYS HIS REMARKABLE MUSICAL VERSATILITY ON HIS NEW RECORDING, ENDLESS ROADS

Eric Van Aro’s world-wide array of enthusiastic fans have long been aware of his stylistic versatility, which he serves up with ease, singing in English, Italian, French and German.  In the far-ranging selection of tunes on Endless Roads, he takes his performances up another level, applying his unique musical mastery to everything from rock, jazz and singer/songwriter classics, as well as his own originals.

Van Aro receives solid musical support from drummer Giordano Colombo, who also produced Endless Roads,  and a collection of enthusiastic young European players that includes guitarist Max Elli, bassist Andrea Torresani, and keyboardist Antonio Chindamo.

The results, as with Van Aro’s previous recordings for Eraki, his Switzerland-based label, are irresistibly memorable.

And it’s no surprise that the stunning skillfulness with which Van Aro interprets Endless Roads’ fascinating array of songs has already attracted critical attention.

Reviewer Matthew Forss writes that “Fans of Southern rock, blues, jazz, Americana, roots, folk, and some pop will find a place in their heart for Eric Van Aro’s Endless Roads.  Overall, there are endless possibilities of enjoyment with all of the songs on the album.”

Endless Roads will be released on September 17th  2015

Reviewer Heath Andrews accurately describes Endless Road as “a well-constructed collection of songs that are enchantingly sung and ferociously played.”

Eric Van Aro is the first to insist that his many accomplishments should be considered in the context of his creative heritage.  His mother, Caterina Valente, has been an international singing star since the early fifties, selling more than 18 million recordings worldwide.  His father is Erik Van Aro, Sr., a German juggler and producer.

Endless Roads is yet another example of the expressive versatility that is a primal element in that heritage.  It is also a compelling display of Eric Van Aro’s growing skill at applying that versatility to every area of contemporary music.

– Don Heckman

International Review of Music

Preview the whole album at amazon.com

#ericvanaro #donheckman #internationalreviewofmusic #endlessroads

5 Seriously Dumb Myths About Copyright the Media Should Stop Repeating by John Degen

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(c) 2015 https://medium.com/@jkdegen

 

Every year around Shakespeare’s birthday, which has also been declared World Book and Copyright Day, I see articles popping up here and there repeating some howling inaccuracies about the legal and economic concept of copyright. I get it — copyright is complex and, frankly, not all that gripping. Also, there’s that free culture movement that says all sorts of truthy-sounding things about how copyright might just be a bad thing. And we’re pro-freedom, right? On the other hand… Shakespeare!… plus all those still-alive authors I love to read, and who need to make a living.

How is anyone supposed to do the work of truly understanding copyright?

I offer this short list of seriously dumb copyright myths to help you through the clutter of free culture bunkum. Hope it helps:


Myth #5. Artists Feel Restricted by Copyright

Right… and cyclists feel restricted by bike paths. Drivers feel restricted by the network of roads and highways. Pilots feel restricted by lift and drag.

Truth: Professional, working artists who respect their own work also respect the work of others. Ask one — you’ll see.

Anti-copyright crusaders love to shout about remix culture and how copyright aims to stop it. Real artists understand:

a) Remix culture was not invented by the Internet. Original works of art have been referencing and remixing other original works of art since the dawn of… well, art.

b) There’s a difference between creative remixing and uncreative copying. That’s a line all professional, working artists recognize by instinct, and it’s a line professional artists are happy to have defined by law.

Myth #4. Copyright Harms the Public Domain

First of all, there is no “public domain” without copyright. By definition, the cultural public domain consists of those works of art and expression that have for one reason or another fallen out of copyright protection. You can’t really have one without the other.

Secondly, can we please stop conflating copyright with a lack of access? Anti-copyright activists are weirdly proud of how they “liberate” books into the public domain when copyright terms end. The Little Prince fell out of copyright protection almost everywhere but France at the beginning of this year. Was it more difficult to find, obtain or read a copy of The Little Princebefore January 1st, 2015 than it is now? Are the French suffering culturally because the book — one of the most popular books in the world — is still protected where it was written, and income is still flowing to the estate of the brilliant man who wrote it?

Truth: Just because a work has its economic and moral interests protected by law, this does not mean it’s unavailable to those who wish to access or use it. Works outside the public domain are simply still economically alive, which means folks still believe they’re worth being economically alive. In other words, there’s a functioning economy for cultural works. That’s a good thing, right?

Myth #3. Copyright is an Attack on Artistic Freedom

I have been a working, professional writer for close to thirty years. I’ve felt my artistic freedom threatened by a great many things — state censorship, all manner of fundamentalisms, Internet bullying and shaming… to name but a few.

Copyright law is not on that list, and it will NEVER be on that list. The very foundation of copyright is the insistence that if I create an artistic expression, I own that artistic expression. And if I own something, you best believe I will protect it from those who want to impose their restrictions on it.

Truth: My right to own and profit from my free expression is part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Enough with the Orwellian doublespeak about copyright attacking my rights. Copyright IS my right, dammit.

Myth #2. Copyright Costs Consumers

In a recent, weakly researched piece on copyright, Canada’s National Post published without challenge the claim that copyright term extensions for music in Canada will cost “the public billions of dollars in the long term.”

Well, duh. We call that “the economy.”

You know what else will cost the public billions of dollars in the long term?

a) all jobs

b) the continuation of human existence

c) time

Truth: Paying artists for works we want to consume is how we have a cultural economy. As long as we live in market-based economic systems, the exchange of money for works, goods and services is going to be an essential mechanism. Oh well.

Myth #1. Copyright only helps Corporations

This is the whopper of anti-copyright mythology.

Anti-copyright activists love to invoke the specter of “big content” in their relentless drive to weaken artists’ rights. They claim protections under copyright really only help the bottom lines of huge corporations who grab rights from working artists. As a working artist, I am concerned about my contract terms with large corporations, absolutely — but at least there is a contract. The existence of a contractual offer for my rights means my right of ownership is being acknowledged and respected. I sure don’t remember being offered a contract for the use of my work when it was pirated online.

Guess who profits the most from this ridiculously inaccurate and misleading line of anti-copyright reasoning — giant corporations who have built a business model on free content.

Truth: Say what you want about large media corps, publishers, music and film companies, etc. — they’ve made way, way more of a tangible contribution to the livelihoods of the working artists I know than Google ever intends to.


There you have it. I hope this quick list has helped my friends and colleagues in the media who may be hurrying to file a story on World Book and Copyright Day. Here’s a final, simple, rule of thumb for writing about copyright.

If you want to understand how a working artist feels about copyright, talk to an actual working artist.

The last time I checked, ivory-tower legal-theory departments and digital-utopian advocacy groups were not the best places to look for actual working artists.


John Degen is a novelist and poet. He is Executive Director of The Writers’ Union of Canada, an organization representing more than 2000 professional authors. He is also Chair of the International Authors Forum, which currently represents close to half a million professional authors worldwide.

Life Song is an album to be savored….. by Andrea Guy

Life Song is an album to be savored. The songs can be appreciated by fans of jazz, electronic music and world music, but you don’t have to be a fan of these types of music to love this album.  If you are looking for something different,Life Song is really a feast for the ears.  Eric Van Aro has a voice that you will quickly fall in love with; it is smooth and mellow and full of romance. Fall in love with Eric’s voice and fall in love with Life Song at the same time.


Artist: The EGH Project

Album: Life Song

Reviewer: Andrea Guy

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

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#theeghproject #marcofinotello #sebastianomambretti #ericvanaro #digdis #lifesong

Basically, at this time, I’m trying to fix my legacy. It’s been butchered. It’s been panned, and scanned, and colorized.” Joni Mitchell​

… in fact that is what ERAKI Entertainment is trying to do with Caterina Valente​ ‘s legacy…. you can believe us when we say: it is quite a difficult task since it is continuously “butchered, panned, scanned and colorized” by a horde of know-it-alls!

This Joni Mitchel Article is a very interesting read….. just click on the pic

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(c) 2015 nymag.com

 

#jonimitchell #caterinavalente #legacy #recordingbusiness

Coming Soon!!! The EGH Project – Life Song REMIXED !!! Massive remixes by: Federico Luyo, MAD BOSS, Caporale Massimiliano, Shamrock Guitor, Mpendulo ‘Mpeshnyk’ Calaza, DJ-Sibz Van GrooveKollecters, Marco Finotello

#theeghproject #ericvanaro #marcofinotello #sebastianomambretti #lifesong #housemusic #digdis! #foreverride