Steven Cravis | Cloudwalker

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Jazz: Piano Jazz Moods: Featuring Piano
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Cloudwalker

by Steven Cravis

Piano compositions and performances by Steven Cravis, recorded at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco. The piece Cloudwalker is by Micco Bonterra and Steven Cravis. Children's Crusade by Sting. Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen and EY Harburg.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Cloudwalker
3:44 $0.99
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2. Stairway to Spirits
4:20 $0.99
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3. Poppy
4:10 $0.99
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4. Between Ages
3:13 $0.99
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5. 5 AM
4:19 $0.99
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6. Keep Trying
5:20 $0.99
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7. Pavla's Boy
3:11 $0.99
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8. Landing
3:23 $0.99
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9. Resolve
5:14 $0.99
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10. Opening, A Rose Revealed
3:07 $0.99
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11. Starting Over
4:08 $0.99
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12. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
4:24 $0.99
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13. Summer City Night
3:16 $0.99
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14. Think it Over
3:41 $0.99
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15. Children's Crusade
4:07 $0.99
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16. Petals Falling Onto Water
3:28 $0.99
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17. Lullaby
3:01 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Piano compositions and performances by Steven Cravis, recorded at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco. The piece Cloudwalker is composed by Micco Bonterra and Steven Cravis. Children's Crusade is composed by Sting. Somewhere Over the Rainbow is composed by Harold Arlen and EY Harburg.

Photography by Benson Choy
Design by Thomas Christian Wolfe
Recorded and mixed by Justin Lieberman at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco, CA
Mastered by Michael Romanowski at Coast Mastering in Berkeley, CA

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
It’s been six years since Steven Cravis’ last solo piano release, "Healing Piano," so the release of his new "Cloudwalker" has been an anxiously-awaited event! And, yes, it was worth the wait! The seventeen tracks, fourteen of which are original, are often buoyant, sometimes more introspective, and always from the heart. Cravis is one of those rare people who spends much of his time helping others, so it is no surprise that the generosity of his spirit comes through so clearly in his music, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for relaxing, healing and simply enjoying. I asked Steven a few years ago when we did an interview if there was a particular philosophy that he tries to convey in his music, and his response was: “Usually it's one that values and embraces unity and healing. If I listen back to my music and feel more at one with myself and the world, which is part of healing, then I feel satisfied.” This obviously hasn’t changed. Cravis started playing the piano at the age of seven and continued his music education through college at The Berklee School of Music, studying both classical music and jazz, so he has a very diversified background to draw from. In addition to composing music for albums, Cravis has also been very active in writing and recording music for video games, films, ringtones, and other applications.

"Cloudwalker" begins with the title track, a bright and lively piece that incorporates jazz rhythms with feelings of freedom and joy. “Stairway to Spirits” is a bit more relaxed with an easy tempo and light and breezy melody. “Poppy” gently uplifts with feelings of optimism and innocence - a favorite. The swirling “Between Ages” all but dances out of the CD player - I really like this one, too! Another highlight of the album, “Keep Trying” has the warmth and sincerity of words of encouragement from a loved one - smooth, patient, and from the heart. “Resolve” beautifully expresses the honesty and freedom of an improvisation - problem-solving at the piano. “Opening, A Rose Revealed” would be gorgeous behind a time-lapse film of a rose gracefully coming into bloom, one petal at a time. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is Cravis’ interpretation of the classic from The Wizard of Oz. Jazzy and upbeat, the dreamy sentiment of the song is never lost - a brilliant arrangement! “Summer City Night” is leisurely and jazz-infused - another favorite. “Children’s Crusade” is a solo piano arrangement of a song by Sting. “Petals Falling Onto Water” has the grace and freedom of an improvisation, expressing the sometimes random beauty of nature’s course. Simple and overflowing with love, “Lullaby” provides a sweet closing to this outstanding album.

There are many excellent pianist/composers out there and Steven Cravis is one of the best. Very highly recommended! I almost forgot to mention that I love the album cover!
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
There is a distinct difference between one of Steven’s earlier albums, “Lavender Dreams,” that I’ve written about and his new one. While the previous release featured Steven’s keyboard orchestration accompanying his piano, Cloudwalker is purely a solo piano recording. The opening song is the album’s title track and is a collaborative effort with Micco Bonterra. It’s upbeat and uplifting energy makes for a perfect intro to the album. There is a cinematic quality to it and I could definitely imagine it as a theme song for a movie, or used in a scene where a triumphant or feel-good soundtrack was needed. It’s a stunning piece of music that really draws the listener in and gets them eager to hear more. This is followed by a more understated, yet equally heartfelt composition called “Stairway to Spirits.” A composition entitled “Between Ages” has an elegant air, with a blend of new age and neo-classical elements.

There are two cover songs on the album. The first of these is the much beloved classic, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Steven’s take on it is nothing short of magnificent, and for me, truly one of the highlights of the album. This rendition definitely leans toward the jazzy side of the spectrum in its chord selection and the artistic license taken with the melody. I would also describe it as elegant and quite grand; an outstanding showcase for Steven’s prodigious piano playing.

The other cover tune is a song by Sting entitled “Children’s Crusade.” Unlike “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” this song has a more melancholy air, as can be expected considering that it is written about some rather dark times in English history. I can’t imagine anybody but Sting writing a song about this in such an articulate and wistfully poetic manner, but I found Steven’s instrumental version just as evocative and deeply moving, even without the lyrics. Steven also cites Sting as one of his influences along with George Winston, Liz Story, and Oscar Peterson.

As much as I greatly enjoyed the orchestration on Steven’s earlier recording, “Lavender Dreams,” the solo piano format on “Cloudwaker” allows his impressive skills as composer and pianist to stand out in a different way. The fact that he is able to do both forms equally well gives an indication of his stylistic range that I don’t believe we’ve seen the extent of yet. But in addition to Steven’s technical and compositional abilities, there are emotional and spiritual elements that come through in his music, inspired by his desire and intention to create music from the heart. “Cloudwalker “ has a perfect balance of all these qualities and makes for a lofty listening experience.


To read a full-length feature article about this album, as well as others, please visit: www.MichaelDiamondMusic.com
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