Van Krueger

Dreamscape

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From the first moments of the synthesizer fanfare that opens the album, it becomes rapidly apparent that, despite its title and cover art, Dreamscape is a much more grounded and rhythmic work than Van Krueger's debut release Musical Fantasies for Relaxation. Almost all the pieces feature strong drum tracks that push along his synthesizer arrangements, and the tunes themselves, played mainly at mid-tempo, display a new level of dynamism and rhythmic punch. He is joined on several cuts by Ross Walters, who plays soft harmonica on the bouncy happy-go-lucky "Celebration of Life" and some throaty sax on a couple of very jazzy pieces. "Jazz in the Air" mixes the sax with fat bass, fusion synth chords, and cymbals and snare rim-shots, while "Cool Breeze" showcases some rippling piano along with swinging sax. Elsewhere we are treated to the almost bluesy "Ode to Humphrey" and to "Classical Reflections," a tender piano etude buffed with synthesized strings and oboe. Full of catchy melodies and well-defined rhythms, Dreamscape should find a new audience for this promising young composer.

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