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Paul Adams | Imaginings

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New Age: Ethnic Fusion New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Paul Adams

A blend of exotic, mystical and musically virtuosic playing from around the world by Paul Adams, David Hoffman, Elizabeth Geyer and Pravin Godkhindi ...mixing elements of Jazz, New Age and World Music
Genre: New Age: Ethnic Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Just Such Beauty
4:59 $0.99
2. Giggles and Grooves
5:59 $0.99
3. Imaginings
5:17 $0.99
4. Panda Bears At Breakfast
4:45 $0.99
5. Pastoral
8:00 $0.99
6. Like Blue and Velvet
4:09 $0.99
7. For Two Lovers
4:15 $0.99
8. The Mysteries of Mood
5:17 $0.99
9. Upon Early Rising
6:02 $0.99
10. Clouds
6:49 $0.99
11. Dawn
5:45 $0.99
12. Conch Shell By the Sea
5:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The album Imaginings offers virtuoso performances that blends eclectic with new age and jazz sensibilities in thecontext of world music. Paul Adams is comfortable in many genres including new age, jazz, eclectic and world fusion. He is comfortable as a multi instrumentalist playing finger style guitar, flute, electric sitar and many instruments from around the world. He is joined by Ray Charles Trumpet Soloist and arranger David Hoffman. Australia's jazz sensation Elizabeth Geyer, and India's Pravin Godkhindi.



to write a review

Lynn Pendlebury

Soothing for the Soul
Yesterday evening I took time out to listen carefully to Paul Adam's exquisite album "Imaginings" for the very first time, being alone in my space, with the doors to the garden open, the birds trilling joyfully in the background and my dogs resting after "Mum's" endeavours in the garden, which have to be supervised :-)obviously. Yes, I am one of those strange individuals who need to fully experience music without distractions when they listen to a new oeuvre and what a sensationally healing album this is. It has made me aware of my own breathing, with its seamlessness ohm effect and although so very calming and with a sense of "at-oneness", it is incredibly emotional and speaks to my soul. Oh how I love the way all the various instruments harmonise to provide heavenly pulses which slow one's heart-rate. Those who know me well are aware of all those recorders I play when alone, by ear and very privately. I haven't played them for so long and this album reminds me of the need to let one's spirit fly. I adore everything and everyone's input in this album. It is so very special and I am so proud that a copy of it can be enjoyed in my home. It was through Elizabeth Geyer that I was afforded the opportunity of listening to such a wonderful collaboration, and Elizabeth herself has played her part in this both literally and figuratively as she plays main piano on the album and I discovered Paul's music as a result of her introduction to his artistry. Pravin Godkhindi's bansuri flute music and David Hoffman's conch shell and flugelhorn create intricate tapestries of gorgeous harmonies with each track. Paul writes of the album as being "a fun, gentle and global tickling of the ether" in which talented artists from opposite ends of the world collaborated to create magic. In truth, immersing myself in this outstanding and now award-winning album has been an utterly sublime experience for me.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Imaginings" is the ninth release from Renaissance man Paul Adams, a true explorer on the vast sea of arts and creativity. Never content to be boxed into any one category, Adams continues to go in different directions with his music. Imaginings is a collaborative project with guest artists Elizabeth Geyer on piano, longtime friend (and former Ray Charles arranger/player) David Hoffman on conch shell and flugelhorn, and Indian flute master Pravin Godkhindi on bansuri flutes. Adams performs on flutes, Chinese halusi, electric sitar (an instrument he made years ago!), hang drum, percussion, guitars, and piano. Three of Adams’ previous albums have been nominated as Best Native Flute Album of the Year by Zone Music Reporter, and "Sleep" won in that category in 2013. 

"Imaginings" was recorded when Australian singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Elizabeth Geyer was in the US completing her fourth album, "The Bridge," which Adams co-produced. Adams explains, ”The goal was to feel and not think. The result is completely beyond what I expected and I’m really happy to cast it to the world.” Adams also cites a desire to embrace diversity: “It’s beautiful and exciting to see diversity come together. We need playfulness, growth and perhaps even a sense of magic to get us there …. This is a tough time. We’ve never been closer together, and this can bring tension. I wanted Imaginings to perhaps be a small step in embracing our differences.” The results are beautiful and emotionally expressive, and although the album will undoubtedly be classified as “new age,” any project this original deserves a category all its own. 

"Imaginings" begins with “Just Such Beauty,” an ethereal piece that features flutes, piano, sitar and washes of electronic sound that soothe away the cares and stresses of the day. “GIggles and Grooves” is a bit jazzier and includes the infectious giggles of a small child and the sound of birds singing as well as a gently swaying rhythm and a warm tropical feeling. The title track is both impassioned and magical and features all four artists. Hoffman’s flugelhorn is especially effective and gives parts of the piece a darker tone - I love this one! “Panda Bears at Breakfast” isn’t quite as whimsical as its title, but it’s light and breezy with an easy jazz groove that makes you feel good. “Pastoral” is a remarkable combination of musical instruments and stylings that fit together beautifully when the hearts of the artists are engaged. Very calming, free and open, this gorgeous 8-minute piece gently puts life’s worries back into perspective. “Like Blue and Velvet” is another favorite and features Elizabeth Geyer on piano along with Adams on flute, sitar and other instruments. Dreamy yet melancholy, this track is especially soulful. “Upon Early Rising” expresses the quiet peacefulness and hopeful anticipation at the beginning of a new day. “Conch Shell By the Sea” is a multi-faceted piece for all four artists, including Hoffman on conch shell. Guitar, sitar, flutes, piano, horn, and percussion intertwine in a peaceful, jazz-tinged closer that leaves the listener feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Kudos to Paul Adams (and crew) for combining so many musical elements into an album that is both unique and a delight to listen to. "Imaginings" is very highly recommended to anyone looking for some music that is a bit different!

One World Music Radio

More Flute Magic from Paul Adams
Paul Adams is one of those artists that has the ability to create such beauty in music that it moves you to your very core, so for this his tenth album, he has enlisted the skills of Dave Hoffman, Pravin Godkhindi, and Elizabeth Geyer.
The opening piece is breath-taking; it’s called Just Such Beauty, a real scene setter, creating a sense of ambience, where one can just literally drift in the waves of sonic bliss forever.
Giggles and Grooves is next, a light-hearted reverie that is fun and laughter in music. The subtleties of Hoffman’s trumpet and the addition of some very blissful vocals can also be heard here.
Imaginings is a real treat, the groove here is deep and almost sensual at times, the creation of wide open spaces within this album is sublime to behold, but there is also a jazz feel to this track that makes it undeniably brilliant.
Panda Bear at Breakfast is a delightfully performed track, the combination of styles east and west and the instrumentation used make it sublimely gentle and calming.
Pastoral is just what you need if you have a desire to wander musically around wide open spaces of sound, it’s ambient, spacious and almost meditative, this is simply incredible, then near of three quarters of the way in the tempo picks up and we’re treated to a symbiotic melding of musicians creating something real, something special, something inwardly vibrant and classy, but not pretentious.
Like Blue and Velvet gives us the Native American energies of Adams prolific flute, then Geyer on a mournful piano, gifting something so very emotive and moody. The flute then cries out to you dear listener, across the wilderness and down the winding river of time, and yes this was another favourite of mine.
For Two Lovers is a composition that has been birthed from a mournful and longing heart, and no matter how many words I summon, I could never pay this outstanding piece the justice it deserves, this is truly magnificent in every way possible.
The Mysteries of Mood, gives us a nice interplay from Adams and Geyer, it’s a composition that builds with the gentleness of spring sunshine in April. Pravin’s eastern motif here is perfect, the pauses in the composition are wonderful to bathe in, by the time Hoffman joins the fray we are gifted one of the most achingly tender compositions filled with a yearning of mysterious mood ever!
Upon Early Rising gives us the time to sample the ambient delights, the magical flute of Adams takes centre stage, one can almost see the day unfurl within the mind’s eye, and here is a six minute plus piece to absolutely revel in.
Clouds is an almost expansive arrangement from the team, the enormous power created is the very base of this track and it swirls and re-creates it’s self with a delightful ease and an expansive mood.
So we now come to the penultimate track off the album called Dawn is the penultimate trace off the album, it just emerges with a very slow mood and then just sits there for us to admire, in the same way a sunrise does. Listen carefully with head phones to enjoy the natural sounds of existence coming back to life, this is your soundtrack of a new day dawning.
Paul Adams last gift is called Conch Shell by the Sea, a picturesque way to leave the album. Adam’s and his fellow musicians come together in a harmonious arrangement of true feeling and honesty to deliver this exquisite farewell piece.
Imaginings has to be one of the best albums I have heard in this genre for years, make sure you add this album to your collection, it will enrich your life and open up your minds to more in music that you possibly ever imagine, without a shadow of a doubt I recommend this album.

Roosevelt Roy, Jr.

This "Perfect Storm" of composition, arrangements, and pedigree of artists on th
2015 ZMR Music Award Winner: Best Contemporary Instrumental Album ~ “IMAGININGS” by Paul Adams w/Elizabeth Geyer, Pravin Godkhindi and David Hoffman (© 2015 Lakefront)

Some of the best and most memorable moments in life are not planned, they just happen. Forces can gather, and what becomes is always unique, sometimes bewildering & other times downright scary. In meteorology it is termed "A Perfect Storm"; scientists call it that "Eureka Moment"; well in the world of music I am very wary to use the term "supergroup": that word almost always implies a purpose, something done intentionally. From all the information I can discern, Paul Adams' newest release 'Imaginings' was definitely not something planned or done on purpose: Initially the plan was for Elizabeth Geyer to come to the United States to have Paul Adams co-produce her new album "The Bridge". Somewhere during the production of her album the nucleus of 'Imaginings' was born. Not planned. It just happened, and I am very thankful that it did.

The album is as unique as the players themselves, but what they create is much more than the sum of its' parts. And that's just it: the "parts" are all at the right place, at the right time, with the right chemistry. Paul brings together the extraordinary talents of Australian jazz veteran Elizabeth Geyer, American horn master David Hoffman & bansuri player/flautist Pravin Godkhindi from India. Now the lines between New Age & World Music may become (or may already) blurred, maybe not. But I find either of those terms insufficient to describe what these four virtuoso's have accomplished. Think about that for a moment: There are literally three Earth continents represented on this masterpiece, that by definition gives it a 'World Music' quality.

Let's take a quick look at those 'parts': Paul Adams is not only a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, Paul makes many of his own instruments. Yes, Paul designs and crafts his own instruments. Now that's how you get the sound you want! But not only for himself, he has built instruments for Daryl Hall (Hall & Oates) and for members of Stevie Wonder's band. Veteran horn player David Hoffman (who also works with Paul in a project called 'The Neurons') has a very impressive resumé, for over a decade David played and arranged music for the late great Ray Charles. From India renowned flautist Pravin Godkhindi adds a very unique and aesthetic property to this album. Bringing us full circle is the lovely multi-instrumentalist Elizabeth Geyer, who is a trained Jazz Trumpeter, composer, pianist and singer. I could go on and on about how the talent on 'Imaginings' excels, but let's get to the album.

I want to call it New Age because of the ambience and the landscapes that it creates, but when you hear the instruments at play and as I mentioned earlier the three continent exposé of talent, it is undoubtedly World Music. Maybe a new genre is needed, maybe New World Music? The mixing is beyond anything I could have imagined, even listening with 2 front speakers I find myself looking around the room wondering where 'that sound came from...' realizing the music had literally encompassed me. "Just Such Beauty" opens the album with a very nice assortment of musical instruments and devices (bringing to mind "Frippertronics" & "sundry implements" Robert Fripp of King Crimson is noted for, besides his guitar). The flute, whether it be Paul's or Pravin's evokes a tranquil scenery that lays the groundwork for what is to come, all the while through "Just Such Beauty", Elizabeth Geyer's piano work steadily and purposefully steps through with grace and ease. Another instrument that you will notice Paul Adams plays is the sitar, which always gives an Eastern feel to any song. While it indeed does that in great fashion, "Giggles & Grooves" also treats us to some great guitar/sitar work. But besides the sitar on various songs do give that World Music feel, Paul knowingly or not gives us an occasional 'twang' which compliments the Eastern imagery and yet keeps one toe in solid Americana. In my opinion "Giggles & Grooves" is a very strong and forceful song, countered expertly by literal child giggles and wonderful bird song.

The title track 'Imaginings' is tranquil and easy to enjoy, Paul with his guitars to me evoke images of jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny's work in the early 1980's. To me that was some of the most intriguing music of that era, and Paul takes me all the way back with emotion. That lovely jazz guitar emotion follows into the wonderfully titled, "Panda Bears at Breakfast". The opening of "Panda Bears" is very solemn, in my mind I see the two Panda's discussing and ordering their meal. After this short discussion the 'dining' begins. There is a precise and elegant backbeat to this song, to which Paul bounces some intense yet restrained basslines to add flavour. The real course is the wide dynamic ranges of the flutes, one stays high in the atmosphere like a good soprano, while another weaves in and about the tenor/alto range. What we have is a very intricately woven fabric with cadences of exotic percussion.

One of my favourites (it's hard to choose) on this album is the thought provoking "Pastoral". I find two distinct movements to this piece. The first is an almost 'spoken' piano expertly laid down by Elizabeth Geyer, over which Paul gives us some wonderful guitar treatments, reminescent of Brian Eno's Ambient Series. It's almost an introduction, with Elizabeths piano speaking in a tone that demands your attention. Just past halfway through "Pastoral", the landscape shifts: we are suddenly drawn into something quite different. Paul's guitar works hints of Spanish flavouring while adding a little George Benson-esque touches towards the end. "Like Blue and Velvet" continues the wonderfully relaxing vibe that ended the previous song "Pastoral".

It is easy to hear and feel how each of the songs on 'Imaginings' weaves an intricate tapestry, with each song building from the previous; the album is akin to a town with each song being a different street in that town. It is almost a showcase of how these streets intersect. I know that may be a strange analogy, but as a girl friend once told me, "it is what it is".

Elizabeth's piano skills shine brightest for me on "For Two Lovers", while Pravin's & Paul's flute soulfully float above the piano like a kite guided by the wind. Faint sitar eminating from the periffery. David Hoffman's playing is very subtle and fits so well within the songs so naturally, you have to be sensitive to the nuanced phrasing he brings to the table. David Hoffman for instance on "For Two Lovers" may seem somewhat restrained, but I think of it as a pre-quel: on "The Mysteries of Mood" David's flugelhorn brings it all to the front row, appearing seemingly out of nowhere (similar to the saxophone solo in "The Year of the Cat" by Al Stewart) and takes centre stage briefly and like a magician is not there, but the mood he created lingers.

Throughout the album the horns & flutes are perfect accompaniment to Elizabeth's precise piano. "Upon Early Rising" sounds just like a clear morning sunrise in my mind, Paul plays guitar strains that paint images of the ever growing light of dawn in a way that I've only heard two guitarist excel at: Steve Howe & Steve Hackett both noted for their guitar strains or "Indian modality" as some describe. On "Clouds" I am introduced to some of the highest scales I never thought possible with a flute, but remember Paul designs, crafts and plays his own instruments. Like Walter Becker & Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Paul Adams gets the sounds he wants.

There are moments that we find dueling flutes in the same vein as John Coltrane versus Miles Davis. What stands out almost as much as the perfectly melded music is how well it was mixed and mastered. No instrument shadows another, every nook and cranny of this great album is subtly filled with organic sounds. I can spend several more pages going into detail of the instruments used on this recording as well as much, much more detail as to the pedigree of the artists themselves, I'll let you explore them on your own. What I want you to take away most of all from this review is that 'Imaginings' is a very unique recording, that may never happen this way again. This "Perfect Storm" of composition, arrangements, and pedigree of artists on this album is amazing. With these musical snipers at the ready Paul, Elizabeth, David & Pravin followed their hearts, and in turn touches ours.

Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
One of the most fun things about receiving a new Paul Adam’s release is that you never know what kind of music or fusion of elements it will be, considering that he has had nine critically acclaimed albums in five different musical genres. On the opening track entitled “Just Such Beauty,” East meets West fusion, and echoes of Ravi Shankar are heard on this dreamy ambient soundscape that features the Native American flute of Paul Adams and the bansuri flute of Pravin Godhindi. Paul also plays guitar and an electric sitar he made. Elizabeth Geyer’s spacious piano accents add to the ambience.

The enigmatically titled “Panda Bears at Breakfast” is a laid-back toe tapper with a contemporary down-tempo chill vibe set to an electronic rhythm track and fretless bass. I thought it was interesting that Elizabeth played acoustic piano in the song’s extended intro and then switched to electric piano when the groove hit, adding a nice jazzy atmosphere to the piece. Although it is unusual to have two flute players on a song, as heard here and throughout the album, they have a different sound and work well together. This, as well as many other aspects of the recording, reinforced my perception of Paul’s formidable abilities as an arranger, as well as a composer and multi-instrumentalist. The ensemble is rounded out by the amazing David Hoffman on trumpet, who played with Ray Charles for 13 years, as well as with Willie Nelson and other major artists.

A track called “The Mysteries of Mood,” is certainly appropriately titled, as it is both mysterious and moody, taking the listener deep into an enchanted dreamscape. This type of ambience extends into the next four songs, right up to the end of the album. There is a drifting-on-a-cloud kind of feeling that is serene and sublime, leaving behind the rhythmic elements heard earlier. Listening to this series of tracks with headphones, put me right into the zone, and left me with a peaceful glow that lingered for some time.

“Imaginings” had a bit more of an archetypal new age sound than I’d heard from Paul before, with a good deal of ambient synthesizer pads and lush electronic textures helping to enhance the soundscape. Although, there are a variety earthy world music elements such as sitar, percussion, and ethnic flutes woven in as well which expand the tonal pallet of this diverse recording. Paul Adams is a true original – something that is increasingly rare in the world of music these days. While I have always been impressed with his many albums over the years, with “Imaginings,” I’ve found a new favorite.

To read a full length feature article on this album, as well as others, please visit: www.Michael DiamondMusic.com

Bill Binkelman

A Delightful Merging of Global Music Influences with Jazz and New Age
Imaginings, the new album helmed by multi-instrumentalist Paul Adams, is a delicious smorgasbord of tasty musical treats from across the globe, although that doesn't properly describe the unique approach Adams and his guest stars (see below) have applied to the world fusion genre. There is genre-bending, and then there is Imaginings. On the latter, the genre isn't bent, it's intertwined and intermixed and spun out into a glorious multi-hued comforting quilt of musical goodness, embodying an assortment of moods and evocations but all of them aimed at enriching the listener's well-being. In the accompanying one-sheet with the album, Adams states "We need diverse elements working together. We need playfulness, growth, and perhaps a pragmatic sense of mysticism to get us there. Imagination." Amen to that!

Joining Adams on the album are long-time collaborator and close friend, David Hoffman (flugelhorn and conch shell), as well as Elizabeth Geyer (piano) and Pravin Godkhindi (bansuri flute). Adams plays (get ready for it!) flutes, Chinese hulusi (a wind instrument), electric sitar, hang drum (a tuned metal percussion instrument), percussion, guitars, and piano. Without taking anything away from the other three artists, Adams' virtuosity and proficiency on all these instruments winds through the album's twelve tracks like a river coursing through a serene landscape. I have been a huge fan of this talented artist since I reviewed his album The Property of Water in 1997 and hopefully he is finally going to garner the praise which has more or less eluded him up to this point.

Moving on to the music itself, Imaginings encompasses a broad range of influences, but the presence of Godkhindi's bansuri and Adams' own sitar playing give the tracks where those instruments are predominant a distinct Indian sound, obviously. There are also moments where Native (wood) flute is emphasized. However, what makes this album so special is how these surface influences are sometimes peacefully overcome by the diversity within many tracks, e.g. the whimsically titled "Panda Bears at Breakfast" starts out with haunting Native flute against minimal piano accented with shakers, and you would think you are in for a serene meditative Native fusion peace—but ever so slowly other elements are introduced. The piano takes on a slightly jazzy undertone and before you know it, a shuffling funky rhythm has emerged and what sounds like a Hammond organ to me is churning away with a jazz refrain underneath the flute, which now and then flits about with unrestrained liveliness. It's a very cool transition. "Giggles and Grooves" opens with birdsong and, yes, a child giggling, and one might muse "hmm, a new age soundscape coming up" but then sitar comes into the picture, albeit played in a distinctly bluesy way, and as the track builds, one realizes that all these musical (and natural) elements are coalescing into something whole that is unlike its parts. Hawaiian-esque guitar and tuned percussion only serve to elevate the tropical spice in the piece. Wordless vocals and flugelhorn join the party and, well, I dare you to not smile. The title track morphs from a brief ambient-like opening to a midtempo chill-out tune, percolating beats under a sprightly flute melody, jazzy sitar, and synthesizer (un-credited, although I would guess it's Adams) shadings that color the song perfectly. "Like Blue and Velvet" once again starts off in a Native flute vein, but the early introduction of sensual blues piano steers the affair into a different direction, followed by dobro guitar. One can almost picture the sun cresting on the horizon as "Upon Early Rising" starts off, with plaintive piano, flute, and keyboard textures combine to evoke the slowly brightening sky at dawn. Unlike some other tracks on Imaginings, this one more or less just builds on the same elements and doesn't twist and turn into something else, but that is only meant as a description and not a criticism, because the song is so good that it could easily be from a Deuter album and you know that is high praise.

I wish I had the space to cover every track on the album in detail, but that would spoil the fun of hearing the other great songs (not mentioned in this review) for the first time with no preconceptions. I strongly recommend/suggest quality headphones or a decent stereo system for your first listen to this recording. Adams obviously spent a lot of time mixing this because every instrument sounds gorgeous and the balance of each one is spot on, along with the environmental sounds when they are present. Paul Adams, Elizabeth Geyer, David Hoffman, and Pravin Godkhindi have created something special on Imaginings. They have tapped into a universal element of music, a cohesive vision that encompasses a global perspective but merges those separate influences into a sum that invites everyone to the party. It may sound cliché but music is the universal language and Paul Adams is one of its great speakers.