The Wind Pearl
It has been 18 years since John Adorney released his impressive debut Beckoning back in 1998. Since then he has released a total of seven original recordings and has become one of New Age/Contemporary Instrumental’s most reliable and consistent artists. With a recording released nearly every 2 to 3 years, Adorney’s multi instrumental capabilities has always resulted in compelling results. So it was a little disconcerting that John was recording and releasing The Wind Pearl only one year after the impressive prior releaseThe Wonder Well. But one listen will reveal that there is no dilution but in fact quite the opposite as The Wind Pearl is arguably his strongest recording to date.
Once again Adorney surrounds himself with a familiar cast including the occasional vocals of Daya and Marcel Adjibi, but ultimately it is Adorney and his strong songwriting whether it is performed on keyboards, guitar, cello, dulciborn or strumstick. Add the appearance of Kathy Adorney on violin and Shinn Jamison on oboe and English horn, his latest creation makes for a compelling varying soundtrack of instruments.
But the focus is once again on the strength of Adorney’s sturdy writing capabilities with The Wind Pearl opening with one of his highly impressive songs “Returning” that features a sublime melody. Add his delicate keyboard and Daya’s hauntingly light vocal embellishments during the bridge and you have all the ingredients that form another astonishing Adorney work of art. Adorney then follows this up with the more subdued title track with him featured on the guitar and cello while engaging with the oboe performance of Shinn Jamison. You are now queued up for another stellar recording from Adorney. But if you want more memorable mesmerizing melodies then skip forward to “Another Beautiful World” or the closing track for the more reflective “Between The Stars”
As previously mentioned Adorney is one of the genre's most consistent and reliable artists but he also takes risks as he spreads his creative wings. Turn up the volume somewhat to really appreciate the more rhythmic and electronic driven title “This Wonderful Game”. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea but it is great to hear Adorney being adventurous. Similar results can be found on “Endless Caravan” or for that matter the worldly themes found on the offbeat reggae tinged “The Lily And The Bee”.
Needless to say The Wind Pearl has the best of both worlds and conjures up his worldly themes and integrates them with his magical reflective melodies that have made John Adorney a hugely underrated artist closing in on two decades. That said, if you have missed the boat on this artist then considering that The Wind Pearl essentially represents one of John Adorney’s finest recordings to date this would be a great time to get on board.
~ Michael Debbage, www.mainlypiano.com
The Wonder Well
The California-based acoustic and new age musician, John Adorney, brings together European soundscapes that are aurally-satisfying and very groovy. The electronic presence combines Enya with Ronan Hardiman. Mostly instrumental, The Wonder Well contains verses of delicate, engaging, and unforgettable beats, piano melodies, and sparkling atmospherics. Whether it is new age, electronic, instrumental, acoustic, neo-classical, or alternative pop, John Adorney knows how to create magical pieces of music delight. Daya's vocals on a few tracks only accentuate the instrumental capabilities of the music. The angelic washes, meditative rhythms, and awe-inspiring tunes are very well executed throughout. It seems every song is catchy and graceful with a moving delivery and a fanciful interplay between instruments that never gets old. Fans of Enya, Ronan Hardiman, and Vangelis will like its new age appeal and old world charm.
~ Matthew Forss, INSIDE WORLD MUSIC
The Fire in the Flint
BT Fasmer After years as a radio host I can easily say if a song or album will light a spark among my audience. One album that I feel certain that you will like is John Adorney's new release The Fire in the Flint. It is heartwarming music that will brighten up any gray and cold day. If anyone on the New Age music scene today were to create an international top hit (a Moonlight Shadow-ish hit for instance), my money would be on John Adorney. His music is a mix between easy listening, pop and New Age music. It is simply beautiful sound design that could reach far beyond the New Age music crowd. The Fire in the Flint is Adorney's sixth release on the EverSound label.Great melodiesThe opening track, Endless Rain, is an incredibly catchy song. A lot of bad weather will not hurt you if you let this song set your mood. It has a beautiful vocal by Daya. I found myself clicking the repeat button several times.The next song is the title track. Here Adorney is closer to instrumental New Age music, which of course pleases this reviewer. Third track, Aliho Noun/The Path is Open, is another winner. The arrangement is fresh and positive, and the ethnic vocal gives the song a great atmosphere. A Moment Noticed has a fantastic acoustic sound, and you can feel that Adorney and friends have had a great time in the studio. The Admiration 2012 remix is upbeat and well-made.A themed album?As usual, Adorney focuses more on the qualities of each song than on the album as a whole (if he was a writer this would be a collection of short stories, not a novel). I would love to see an Adorney album with a theme from start to finish.The Fire in the Flint is among John Adorney's best albums and shows that he is one of our genre's top performers. Even endless rain seems OK when Adorney is in charge of the melody. ~ BT Fasmer, NEW AGE MUSIC ODYSSEYTitle. Double click me.
For over 25 years, John Adorney has been capturing the hearts and minds of people with his inspiring music, young and old alike. After listening to his newest album, The Fire in The Flint, I am happy to say upfront that this year is no exception, and clearly, everyone will love John Adorney’s new instrumental and vocal album ...
- John P. Olsen, New Age Music World
The Fountain Reviewed by Bill Binkelman, New Age Retailer
Multi-instrumentalist (keyboards, guitars, cello, sitar, mandolin and dulcimer) John Adorney’s latest release is a joyous musical exploration laced with occasional world beat influences. Mostly instrumental in nature with two outstanding vocal numbers, the album takes the listener on a delightful sonic trip, traipsing across a landscape of assorted tempos and styles, but always exhibiting uncommonly superb musicianship and production. Memorable tracks include the jubilant “Safe Haven,” the Enya-esque “Feather in the Wind,” and the chill-out beat-enhanced “The Water Jar.” There isn’t a weak cut on The Fountain - it’s filled to overflowing with the good stuff.
Trees Of Gold Reviewed by Michael Debbage , Wind and Wire (now mainlypiano.com)
Back in 2004, John Adorney released his third effort, the superb Waiting For The Moon, and some may have wondered if Trees of Gold would fall in its shadow. Quite the contrary, as his newest creation is as valuable as the title would suggest, resulting in another stellar performance from John Adorney.
Much like its predecessor, Adorney flirts with several genres, mixing New Age, Classical and World themes into a conglomerate fusion of precious gold. The album starts with “Swept Away,” which includes the delicate chants of Daya that are in total unison with Adorney’s fluttering keyboards and soft rhythmic percussion. Though it is a very enjoyable composition, it is a little safe and is very reminiscent of the prior album’s opening track, “Always.” The same cannot be said for the title track, which includes sweeping strings, offbeat percussion and a choir that includes assistance from several label mates, including Diane Arkenstone. It probably ranks as one of Adorney’s better compositions.
Complex rhythmic patterns continue with “Yilowe,” which also includes the guest vocals of African Marcel Adjibi. Alongside Adorney’s more contemporary guitar work reminiscent of Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler, the song is a symphony of different worlds and cultures blending boldly, yet beautifully. Otherwise, there are even classical tendencies explored courtesy of the more regal “Shades Of Amber,” which features flutist Richard Hardy alongside Adorney’s cello work. Yes, John is an extraordinary multi-instrumentalist who also excels as a songwriter and producer.
Otherwise, John provides his listeners with many reflective and mellow moments best heard via the appropriately titled “Whisper” and the very soothing mid-tempo themes of “The Waterwheel.” Both songs feature Adorney entirely on guitar and keyboards with some very nominal percussion work that does not intrude upon the more conservative themes that are being explored.
Anchored in a field of gold, Trees Of Gold presents no fillers, with every song showing the class and quality associated with John Adorney. Though it may not branch out as significantly by borrowing from the successful formula of its predecessor, Trees of Gold shows there is still enough exploration that forges both familiarity and freshness at the same time.
Waiting for the Moon Reviewed by RJ Lannan, New Age Reporter
It was Thursday morning. The bedside alarm clock glowed a pale green 2:38 A.M. The storm had just passed and I could not sleep. I decided to do some work. Fumbling in the faint light, I found my portable CD player and touched PLAY. I laid there in the dark with the rain dripping off the roof and for the next hour, I was captivated by the music of John Adorney, from his new release Waiting for the Moon. I have played the album several times over, and I get the same emotional jolt every time. Waiting for the Moon is, in a word, timeless.
“There’s a butterfly in the well, a cloud in the dirt, a wind through the heart of the mountain…” Daya’s vocal talents really excel on “A Butterfly in the Well.” The song exudes melancholy with Adorney’s wondrous lyrics and gentle fairy song score. In a childlike view on the world, the music reminds us that beauty is all around us, but sometimes it is short-lived.
The title tune, “Waiting for the Moon,” is a wonderful ballad. The angelic intonation of Daya’s voice thrills the senses ... a lot like Miriam Shockley does in all of her work.
“In Bloom” begins a bit like a John Williams film score, but then it takes a turn for the playful. Like a ride down a dusty road in a rag top, the music takes you away for just a little while, but then sadly, it returns you to the here and now.
The vocal refrain from “The Dance” is soft and sumptuous, like the light from a ring of candles in the bath. You lean back in your sudsy microcosm and dream luxuriant dreams. Freedom and fantasies are at your beck and call.
“Mavoh Mavoh” is an uncomplicated tune, but it is so emotionally transfused that I could hardly stand it. Like the opening tune, “Always,” the refrain is very simple, but the music is sensitively charged. This piano tune slices though your negative feelings like the first cut of a sharpened scythe upon spring wheat. Sung in the Goun African language, the chorus repeats, “I will love you from eternity to eternity,” and it echoes in your heart again and again. The song will make you feel something!
The music will touch you deeply and heal you like the smile of a newborn. It will drench you in emotion like a summer shower and refresh you like a zephyr. This CD is going on my Top 10 list for 2004.
Rating - Excellent
The Other Shore Reviewed by Ted Cox, New Age Retailer
In the stunning follow-up to his debut release, Beckoning, multi-instrumentalist Adorney has created a delightful collage of songs lightly infused with Asian, Eastern and Celtic. Daya Rawat’s multi-dubbed vocals on the infectious title track and “When the Flower Meets the Rain” are reminiscent of Enya’s breakthrough “Orinoco Flow” from Watermark. Also, on the spirited chant of “Kulan Tai Ulam,” her layered vocals rise with the world beat crescendo.
Adorney’s pleasing and melodic songs are gently fashioned on keyboards, with support from guitar, flutes, cello, oboe, horn, light percussion and bass. His guitar shines on the romantic “Thinking of You” while Rawat’s refrain echoes the title. The oboe soars in the darkness of the “Moonbird,” while acoustic guitars and cellos blend together on the contemporary "All In A Moment” instrumental, prior to the ambient space of “Entranced.”
This s a superb sophomore outing from an artist on the newly acclaimed EverSound label making beautiful sonic waves in the New Age music community.
Beckoning Reviewed by Fred Puhan, Wind and Wire
It took a while for this album to grow on me. however, don’t blame the music, blame the reviewer -- I’ve been listening to a lot of EM and synth-based music recently, and Beckoning has come as quite a departure from that realm. But grown on me it has!
Beckoning reminds me of what attracted me to the world of new age music in the first place -- gentle melodies and intricate instrumentation. John Adorney is a multi-instrumentalist who conjures up tunes that sound like a small combo playing in a cozy club. His blend of piano, guitars and cello, mixed with a variety of supporting instruments such as penny whistle, bamboo flute and silver flute, bring forth songs that are “hummable,” which is to say that they imprint themselves gently on the consciousness. Before you are aware of it, a smile may grace your face, and perhaps even your toes may be tapping in accompaniment.
“When Will I Se You Again” is a pure pop ditty, its plaintive question is marked by creative chord changes and extremely “listenable” music. “The Gift” is similarly charged, reminding me of some of the seminal works by David Lanz and Paul Speer, who, by the way, were some of my earliest influences in this genre.
There are some departures from the piano-guitar-combo sound as well. Flute-laden “The Gathering” harkens from the Highlands, shifting into a Caribbean flavor with the addition of what appear to be steel drums. “Dance of the Moon and Stars” adds a Native American touch with the inclusion of flute and a feel of the outdoors.
Every once in a while it’s good to get back to one's roots. With John Adorney’s Beckoning, it may be possible to rediscover what first turned on the little light bulb that let us know, “Hey, this music is good!”