Between Places

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This is a masterfully conceived album and a major step forward for the Canadian keyboard duo of Gerald O'Brien and Steve Sexton, collectively known as Exchange. Their debut, Into the Night, on the defunct Audion label, was one of the most successful beginnings in this genre. Their range has broadened, taking the Yanni-like style of their previous music several light years beyond into a rich palette of strong themes and dazzling interplay. The most delightful surprise on the album is the piece "Without Cause," which develops from a low-down body rhythm to full-on "can't get it out of your head" status, magically embellished by the world-class whistling of Roger Whittaker. Themes centered on world peace and environmental issues move from lush rock orchestrations to more delicate, romantic motifs. Other welcome effects and "breaths of fresh air" again place Exchange at the forefront of today's finest instrumental groups.

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