I was given the opportunity to review Joshua Bell’s new cd “At Home With Friends” by the One2One Network and fell in love.
This cd is not merely a compilation, but rather an experience that simply washes over you and draws you in. I felt like I was invited into an intimate and somewhat magical world where only the music mattered.
It is rare and inspiring to me to find an artist as passionate about their music as Joshua Bell, so talented, so brilliant.
As I write this review, Joshua Bell’s cd is in the Billboard 200, #6 in Heatseekers Albums and #1 in their Classical Albums.
Produced by Sony Classical, this 16 song set features such talents as Sting, Regina Spektor, Kristen Chenowith, Josh Groban, jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, Anoushka Shankar and many others.
Together with Joshua Bell, each creates a beautiful synergy of virtuosity and love of music.
This set evolved from the informal jam sessions that Bell holds frequently at his home and I feel that this cd reflects that mood perfectly.
There is a very diverse range of styles here: Jazz, Opera, Classical, Pop and Latin among others.
I love just about every song on this cd and find myself playing it at the oddest times. I really love it that much.
“Come Again” with Sting seems to have a Celtic feel as it leaps and soars.
“Cinema Paradiso” with Josh Groban is richly beautiful and evocative.
“Para Ti” with its Latin beat had me ready to go dancing.
“Il Postino” is thoroughly charming.
In fact, all of these songs feel classic, yet completely new and fresh.
I usually don’t like my Beatles songs changed, but, I loved Josh’s interpretation of “Eleanor Rigby”. Frankie Moreno’s wonderful voice and phrasing accompanied by Josh’s poignant violin explore the mysterious soulful beauty of humanity.
In “Left Hand Song”, Regina Spektor was off the wall in a very good way.
“Variant Moods”, performed with Anoushka Shankar on sitar, and written by his father, Ravi Shankar, took me to a mystical dreamlike world.
This cd felt to me like Joshua Bell and friends were inviting us in to take a seat and simply experience music in its purest transformative state.
Check out “At Home With Friends” on Amazon and iTunes!