Blue Coast Instrumental
A good compilation gives power to already great songs by presenting them in a new context. Blue Coast Instrumental is no exception. This collection of songs from the Blue Coast catalog highlights the top-notch musicianship of the Blue Coast artists. By focusing specifically on instrumentals, we are able to fully appreciate the lush and full sound of the instruments themselves. This is also a strong testament to the strength of the recording itself. With everything else stripped away, you can really hear the difference. Without lyrics to hold your focus, you instead hone in on the intricacies of the melodies, the masterful picking of a guitarist, the soft and precise touch of a pianist. Blue Coast Instrumental is a showcase of both the beauty of instruments themselves and the mastery of the artists that play them, all elevated by the audiophile quality of the recordings.
This collection of songs also highlights the unique experience of listening to instrumental music. The absence of sung lyrics allows room for your thoughts to wander freely. Listening to the pieces by Fiona Joy Hawkins, one not only appreciates her musicality and her mastery of the piano, but also the way her compositions transport us to new spaces for introspection. “Bolinas” by Tony Furtado is a beautiful piece, with moments of tender beauty and slowness followed by a rush of bluegrass energy. “Julie” by Derek Jones is a breath of fresh air, capturing the feeling of absolute relaxation one might feel sitting in a café on a Sunday afternoon listening to a small jazz combo playing easy and effortlessly. Album closer “Ancestors d’Italia” by Art Lande shows us that immense beauty can be found in the melancholy, allowing us to get lost in its gentle melody and take a deep breath.
All recorded to DSD256 at Blue Coast Studios by Cookie Marenco. The painting on the cover is by Fiona Joy Hawkins.