Al Conti | The Blue Rose

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New Age: Relaxation World: Asian- East Moods: Type: Instrumental
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The Blue Rose

by Al Conti

From Grammy® nominated artist Al Conti comes a story as ancient as time – the conquest of the heart.
Genre: New Age: Relaxation
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. The Princess and the Emperor
5:05 album only
clip
2. Silk and Jasmine
5:41 album only
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3. The Merchant's Rose
4:26 album only
clip
4. Blue Sapphire
4:10 album only
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5. Painted Vase
4:41 album only
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6. Bamboo Night Garden
4:45 album only
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7. Minstrel's Song
4:29 album only
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8. Last Suitor
4:24 album only
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9. Heart in Bloom
5:22 album only
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10. The Blue Rose
5:24 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
#1 on the ZMR Top 100 Chart for two consecutive months - May & June, 2013!

A princess, a rose, and a quest for the unattainable. Faced with the prospect of an undesirable marriage, a princess devises a plan: the man she will agree to marry must profess his love by finding the impossible… a blue rose.

Knowing such a rose does not exist in nature, the princess rests, confident that she has escaped marriage and is in control of her own destiny. But destiny has other plans and the unattainable rose - the impossible love - suddenly manifests and her heart is swept away.

From Grammy® nominated Al Conti comes this, his fifth release, an ancient tale told through music, exploring themes as ancient as time. Conti masterfully weaves music and narrative entrancing the listener and blending modern and ancient sensibilities. Beautifully crafted, peaceful, unpretentious yet powerful, Conti has once again shown his versatility by creating a work of deep emotion that will be undoubtedly welcomed by his audience. This release, which immediately rose to the top of the ZMR Top 100 chart and features the talents of award winning artist Ann Licater, is the next step in Conti’s cultural journey which has positioned him as one of the most innovative talents in New Age/World music today.

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
Grammy nominated artist Al Conti ("Northern Seas," 2011) has released his fifth album, "The Blue Rose." His previous release, "Scheherazade" (2010) received four nominations from the Zone Music Reporter Awards, including Album of the Year. Like the two earlier recordings, "The Blue Rose" was inspired by a legend, this time one from China that Conti encountered as a child. Finding that its message of hope and perseverance lent itself so well to music, Conti set out to tell the story without words, utilizing a variety of instruments (including keyboards) and a little help from friends Ann Licater (flutes) and Hannah Beth Crary (fiddles). Two years in the making, "The Blue Rose" is certain to garner Al Conti a fresh assortment of accolades and awards. Although the music is a bit more understated than Conti’s previous releases, it presents an interesting East meets West blending of musical styles and instrumentation.

A quick summary of the story is that an emperor had a daughter that he cherished dearly, and knowing that he would not always be around to care for her, he sought to find her a suitable husband. The princess did not want to marry and leave her father, so the emperor allowed her to name one requirement that her future husband must meet. Thinking it an impossible task, the princess stated that the man she would marry must present her with a blue rose. Only a few suitors even tried to fulfill this requirement, and all failed until a young minstrel came to town and captivated the princess with his songs. They fell in love and wanted to marry, but the princess knew he would still have to bring her a blue rose. Undaunted, the minstrel promised to return the following evening to meet with her and the emperor in the palace’s blue room. At the appointed time, the minstrel arrived bearing a white rose, but as he professed his love to the princess, the light from the setting sun shone through a blue stained glass window and turned the rose to a gorgeous shade of blue.

The album begins with “The Princess and the Emperor,” a piano-based piece that starts with a simple Asian melody backed with strings and becomes more orchestrated as it evolves - an intriguing start! “Silk and Jasmine” is a bit more ambient, creating a setting for the story to unfold within. “The Merchant’s Rose” is lively and upbeat with a female voice singing in a Chinese operatic style in sections throughout the piece. “Bamboo Night Garden” is about the princess’ introduction to the minstrel after she heard him singing outside the palace walls. Piano, strings, and Asian instrumentation set the scene as Ann Licater casts a spell with her flute magic. “Minstrel’s Song” is indeed captivating in a gentle, hypnotic way that touches the heart. “Last Suitor” is my favorite track. This elegant combination of piano, strings, and Asian instruments evokes images of love, grace, and mystery. The title track closes the album, conveying an understated joy and the triumph of true love.

Al Conti has created another musical work of art. Very highly recommended!
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Steve Sheppard

One World Radio
Fresh from success with the stunning Northern Sea’s album Al Conti would take some time to yet again deliver to us another masterpiece. Now most people who know me know I am a bit of a sucker for the eastern oriental sounds and here Al has brought that all home from a tale that he read as a child.
Al tells us the story of an emperor and a child and a relationship scenario once this Daughter grows older, of arranged marriages and the search for true love and within this fascinating tale the young woman sets a task for her hand, by saying she would only marry the man who could bring her a Blue Rose, now if you want to know more about how the story panned out, buy this album or read the story.
Al starts us off on this journey of Eastern delight with track one called, The Princess And The Emperor, this is a composition that sets the scene, an upbeat and light start to the album with some meaningful piano and a wonderfully orchestrated passage of music that sucks you into the concept, I love the flute, but more about that later.
We now switch to the track Silk And Jasmine, I have to admit this was probably one of my favourite tracks off the album, the heavy ambient chords and synth’s that start this piece almost give us a build up which is similar in structure to the great Pink Floyd and the track Shine On You Crazy Diamond, but the piece soon takes us deeper into the tale and there is a very deep essence of a smooth and silky composition here. The repetitive nature of this track makes it ideal to play on any ambient music station, but the added and subtle change in chord structures always keeps us thinking while we listen.
The Merchants Rose starts with Eastern style opening vocals, chant like and then as the gong sounds there is only one place you could possibly be, here Conti clearly has captured the image of the Orient and the base line and beat hooks the listener in and while hearing this piece I could easily imagine myself walking through a bazaar in the far East, I would imagine that this track will be a favourite for many listeners to One World Radio and the lucky people who have the good sense to buy this album.
Blue Sapphire, the flute magic performed on this album is sublime. Blue Sapphire is both a powerful piece and lead by the flute, but the drums and percussion almost stamp an authority upon this album and its direction, the added bonus of the odd crescendo is always going to win me over.
Painted Vase, this is a string lead piece with some dark and light percussion, this is a very subtle piece and one I could easily imagine myself hearing in a Buddha Bar or Chill out lounge with its beat arrangement, personally this only adds to its style and I instantly liked this track as it almost brings the story into the 21st Century musically, clever piece this.
Bamboo Night Garden, this is yet another favourite of mine and I did say I would mention flute again and this track not only contains some beautiful flute, but the flute playing of one very talented Ann Licater. A soft and gentle melody runs through this track like a river in summer; Ann’s playing is in perfect partnership with Al’s brilliant arrangements in this piece.
Minstrel’s Song, this composition starts with a slight essence of melancholy, but this is a deep piece that plays at an emotional level brilliantly and the instrumentation that works so well in this track, does indeed bring the picture of a lonely minstrel sitting upon a rock, playing a tune from a haunted and long lost love and thus setting the scene nicely for the following track and the rest of this refreshing album.
Last Suitor, this has a feel almost at time that Al has paid an honourable and kindly return to his last album Northern Sea and has a slight hint of Celt mixed into the scheme of things, what I like about this track is the build up to the potential crescendo. This is a masterfully powerful piece where Conti pulls out all the stops and featuring the brilliant fiddles of Hannah Beth Crary, ushers in a combination of talents that is far too hard to resist.
Heart in Bloom, features a purposeful piano and some great rhythms and if there were such a thing these days of a commercial single release, one would probably have to go for Heart In Bloom as a charting song, it’s has a certain melodic vibrancy that will certainly get Al Conti some very deserved air play on radio stations around the world, especially on One World Radio.
The Blue Rose, there are few artists who leave the title track of the album to the very last track, but here Conti give us that very scenario, the track starts with a studious beginning and layered synths pave the way for the conclusion of this latest offering and without giving away the story of the album and the tale of the Blue Rose, love as always finds a way.
This is a track that almost pours conclusion from every crack in the world and the almost majestic quality of this final composition with some wonderful percussion I may add, brings the story to its inevitable ending. With such skill and deft composing Al Conti also has found a way, not only into the hearts of his fans, but also into the minds and the souls of all who still believe in all encompassing caress of true love. A quality album performed by a quality musician, with a total quality production and you would do yourself an injustice by missing out on buying this release as soon as you can, If you’re a fan of an Oriental flavour of music, the place the Blue Rose on your musical plate quickly.
Steve Sheppard
One World Radio
www.oneworldradio.org.uk
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
A recording like "The Blue Rose" is something I cherish because, as a “concept album,” it tells a story, both musically and in the liner notes and artwork, taking you on an imaginative journey from beginning to end. I was swept away right from the first track as percolating arpeggiated sequences intertwine creating a background for Al’s piano introduction. With a cymbal swell, a cello sound enters the sound field as the orchestration builds, and we are off on a magical journey. Traces of delicate Asian sounds tint the picture, enhanced by elements of classical and new age music. This song, entitled “The Princess and the Emperor” is incredibly lush and evocative, creating a wonderful start to the album and the story that is unfolding. By contrast, the next piece, “Silk and Jasmine” takes a more Zen-like approach in its simplicity, yet contains subtle instrumental flavors to be savored by the discerning listener. I enjoyed the percussive energy of “The Merchant’s Rose,” that created an exotic groove for a variety of traditional Asian sounds to dance upon.

While much of the music on "The Blue Rose" has a cinematic air about it, a song that stands out particularly in this way is “Last Suitor,” with its rich orchestration and stately manner. The same could be said of the title track, which brings the album to an elegant conclusion. Given Al’s record for composing and producing award-winning music, I expected to be impressed, and I was certainly not disappointed. "The Blue Rose" is a luminous telling of an enchanted story. From his compositional mastery to his impeccable musicianship and productions skills Al Conti has been emerging as a major figure in the new age music genre. I’m sure that this new release will only serve to further enhance his growing reputation.
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Shemusic33

Al Conti’s THE BLUE ROSE Brings an Ancient Asian Legend to Life in Music
In a passionate follow up to his GRAMMY-nominated album Northern Seas, Conti releases THE BLUE ROSE, enchanting fans with a timeless tale of love told in his uniquely rich new age/world fusion style. I really enjoyed this record. Very moving.
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Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
West meets East in this fusion of world musical cultures, the fifth release from Grammy Award-nominated multi-instrumentalist Al Conti.

Based on an ancient Japanese fairy tale, the album presents the global new age style mastered by and unique to Conti and fuses it with elements of the Orient, resulting in a work that celebrates the best of both worlds.

In addition to keyboards, synthesizers, and other mainstream and ethnic instruments played by Conti, the CD features the talents of Ann Licater on flute and Hannah Beth Crary on fiddles.

My favorite tracks are “The Princess and the Emperor,” “Silk and Jasmine,” “Heart in Bloom,” and “The Blue Rose.” These are perfect examples of new age music, with lush, dreamy synthesizer textures and elegant, classy cascades of piano. “Heart in Bloom” even has a bit of an African flavor to it, which is actually very welcome and not at all out of place here.

This is a worthy addition to any discerning listener’s new age/world music library.
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