05 Dec 2012

Another Review… From Kathy Parsons @ MainlyPiano.com

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Just got another review in… this one from Kathy Parsons over at MainlyPiano.com, another very cool website if (like me) you love piano music.

In the Spirit of Christmas II
Chuck Cape
2012 / Chuck Cape
50.9 minutes

In the Spirit of Christmas II is the solo piano follow-up to Chuck Cape’s 2010 debut, In the Spirit of Christmas. In the same vein as his first album, this is a collection of thirteen traditional and original songs of the season, updated and given a variety of treatments from soft and gentle to exuberant and joyful. Cape is a very accomplished pianist who seems to be comfortable with many different musical styles and genres, giving the album plenty of variety. Conversely, if you are looking for a full album of quiet piano music, this one probably won’t work. Most of the songs are on the peaceful, reflective side, but a few are very “big” and showy. I like the variety and Cape did a great job of selecting the playing order of the songs, giving the album a really good flow.

In the Spirit of Christmas II begins with a rousing arrangement of “Deck the Halls.” Big, bold, and full of fun, this is an exciting opening! “Swirls” is the first of the originals. Gentle, smooth, and very graceful, it reminds me of watching effortless ice skaters gliding across a rink or frozen lake. I’ve heard and played some funky arrangements of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” but Cape’s version tops them all! Crank up the volume and let it rattle the windows! Over the past several years, it seems like “O Holy Night” has been getting quieter and quieter, in large contrast to the passionate, dramatic versions I grew up with. Cape’s arrangement has a bit of both, becoming more powerful as it evolves. “Simple Gifts” isn’t very simple in this spirited and effervescent version – a great arrangement! “Hymn For the Appalachians” is a favorite. Slow and soulful, it has the feel of a folk song fleshed out just enough to make it a full and elegant piano solo. “Sussex Carol” is lively and very joyful – almost dancelike. “In the Bleak Midwinter” seems to have become a favorite of many instrumental artists, and Cape’s version is delicate in some parts and bold in others – a very enjoyable interpretation. “Home For Christmas” is a beautiful ballad overflowing with sincere emotions and sentimental memories – another favorite. “Once In Royal David’s City” cranks it up again with a lively rhythm and a “joyful noise” that spins and dances with delight. “Silent Night” becomes very still, gentle, and delicate, telling its story with reverence and a spirit of peace. Beautiful!

In the Spirit of Christmas II is a really nice addition to anyone’s Christmas music collection. It’s available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!

Kathy Parsons

27 Nov 2012

Review From Mr. Bill Binkelman…

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Just got a review from Bill Binkelman of ZoneMusicReporter.com, a very cool website for all things like this…. It’s always nice when somebody likes what you’ve done.

In The Spirit Of Christmas II
Self-released (2012)

…Pianist Chuck Cape follows up 2010′s In the Spirit of Christmas with the aptly-titled In the Spirit of Christmas II. Cape once again demonstrates a flair for taking the…recognizable melodies from carols and giving them unique spins in such a way that even a staunch traditionalist like me can’t help but grin. “Deck the Halls” gets an uptempo treatment that marries the tune’s usual celebratory feel with a robust burst of energetic new age style. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” really dials up the funk/jazz attitude, introducing alley cat struttin’ piano riffs galore. “O Holy Night” stays with the carol’s signature low key mood but Cape instills some interesting sidetracks along the way, bringing something new yet recognizable just the same, and he does the same thing with the CD’s closing “Silent Night.” Cape contributes a few originals as well, including the mid tempo tune. “Swirls” which flows with an air of introspection and “Home for Christmas,” a warm, evocative piece which conjures up the titular image nicely. If you’re looking for holiday music that’s familiar yet also somewhat different (especially with a more uptempo/energetic pace and mood at times), In the Spirit of Christmas II fits the bill.

Bill Binkelman
Zone Music Reporter

14 Nov 2012


1 Comment Albums

Yes, the new CD just went live on ITunes!!!

Check it out!

14 Nov 2012

Now playing on MyHolidayHits.com

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Hey! Just got the word that “In The Spirit Of Christmas II” has been added to the rotation on My Holiday Hits, http://www.myholidayhits.com/, a great station for Christmas music.

Thanks to Kyle Knight for the add. Be sure to check it out!

11 Nov 2012

Also On CDBaby and Amazon… Coming soon to ITunes…

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And I just found out that the CD has been added to CDBaby (http://cdbaby.com/cd/chuckcape
) and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=In+The+Spirit+Of+Christmas+cd+Chuck+Cape). Kind of cool. I’ve been told that it should be on ITunes before the end of the week… just in time for the Christmas holidays! Santa has already told me that these make GREAT stocking stuffers! Hahahaha!