Niki Nana


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Niki Nana Review

by Jonathan Widran

For those of you who thought synthesist extraordinaire Yanni could compose only for the soft spoken WAVE format, you might want to think again. Yanni thanks John Tesh in the liner notes, and much of this solid work is reminiscent of Tesh's Garden City -- that is, lots of sweet, upbeat synth textures perfect for an oceanfront drive, such as the brassy "Running Time" and the upbeat "Human Condition." There are a few mellow, pretty tunes like "Quiet Man," but then there is the exciting hornwork of Nolan Smith Jr. on "Dance with a Stranger," and the intriguing soundscape textures on "Nightbird." The best track is the Brazilian flavored title cut, which features a strong bass groove, percussion, and vocals reminiscent of those on Sergio Mendes' best work. Though Yanni has forever been bound to the new age format despite his amazing success, the best cuts on this album put him smack dab in the middle of the smooth jazz realm. Take the Yanni challenge with this one. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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