Angels at Play
Here is what people like you are saying about 'Angels at Play' - "WOW - your music is inspiring...it is beautiful." "If you listen to that first track in the morning, it stays with you all day. Great melody!" "The CD is terrific. I loved every piece on it - of course it helps that I adore the saxophone!" "We spent a lovely evening...listening to your music. Beautiful! Thank you for...the brilliance of your music." "It feels relaxing & peaceful...a perfect addition to our evenings to help melt the stress away after a long day." "A tasty presentation of contemporary smooth jazz from a talented saxophonist...Merrihew gives us a pure tone...confident melodic lines with solid harmonizations. The title track is delightful," says Keith McClelland, former conductor for the Bob Hope and Ray Charles orchestras. Angels at Play is a thoughtful blend of smooth jazz saxophone, sweet melodies, warm harmonies, and fresh rhythms. Imagine the sounds of Paul Desmond, Grover Washington Jr., and Yanni melded into one relaxing CD to enjoy. This is Alan Merrihew's debut CD and marks this Seattle saxophonist and composer's return to the Pacific Northwest music scene after a hiatus of more than twenty years. This release is the culmination of sixteen years of work and offers a rich variety of original music and innovative arrangements of traditional music for the listener's delight. Alan's sound on alto and soprano saxophone is as pure as it comes. His robust, gutsy tenor sound has just the right blend of edge and subtlety for this musical landscape. Alan's soaring melodies and lyrical approach to solos blend artfully with the beautifully orchestrated and spacious arrangements. The ancient Chinese definition for music is happiness, elegance, sadness, sweetness, subtlety, resonance, and strength. Angels at Play is just that. Angels at Play features the undiscovered brilliance of Joselito Jose. Joselito offers two original compositions, Journey and Bakit (Why), as well as impeccable arrangements, keyboard work, and co-production work on the recording. In appreciation and support for music education in Seattle, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this CD will be donated to the Garfield High School music program. Alan explains the influences that shaped his musical path. "As I grew up listening to Rock & Roll and the Motown sound I marveled at how the music had the ability to make me feel good. The melodies, rhythms, and driving beats worked their magic to create an endless fascination for me. In sixth grade my parents brought home a Bossa Nova album by Stan Getz and I could not stop listening to it. Later, I discovered the jazz sounds of Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, and Grover Washington Jr. I loved the straight ahead jazz masters like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, and Paul Desmond. I was also mesmerized by the sounds of synthesizers and the incredible breadth of capability they offered the musical palette. Vangelis' Chariots of Fire was a definitive work with others like Yanni following with their own popular success." "My musical fascination continues to this day and Angels at Play is the embodiment of that fascination incorporating elements of straight ahead Jazz, Smooth Jazz, New Age, and World Music. My hope is that when listening to Angels at Play you will enjoy the sweet melodies, warm harmonies, and fresh rhythms and it will make you feel as good inside as I did when I created it for you," said Alan when asked about his motivation for creating Angels at Play. Alan's Biography: At the age of six, Alan contracted the mumps and subsequently lost complete hearing in his right ear. In spite of this limitation, he has continued the pursuit of his musical dream. Alan has studied saxophone with Joe Brazil and improvisation with Bill Smith at the University of Washington, saxophone with Denney Goodhew at the Cornish School of music, and piano with Randy Halberstadt. Alan has performed locally in many Pacific Northwest clubs, in concert at St. Michelle Winery, and as a guest conductor for Marcus Tsutakawa and the Garfield High School Orchestra. He has attended workshops with many jazz luminaries including Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, Bud Shank, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, Grover Washington Jr., Richie Cole, and Stanley Turrentine. Alan was born in Hatfield, England as Alan Crudden and took Ann Merrihew's last name when they married in 1982. Alan has a degree in Computer Science from Seattle Pacific University and currently works for a software company in the Seattle area as a National Technology Director. Alan's work in the community includes serving as technical liaison for the Garfield Technology Academy. He also conceived and completed the installation of a computer music lab at Garfield High School. This facility dramatically accelerates students' learning of music. Alan talking about his live long love of music, "I have had a profound appreciation for music since a very early age. I remember hearing a live big band in a restaurant in London's Piccadilly Circus as a young child with my family. I was so excited that I couldn't eat my dinner and spent the entire evening turned around in my seat watching the band. I knew I wanted to play music after that night! Some years later in fifth grade I remember my anticipation when Mr. Elnes, the band director, came to our classroom to recruit students for his program. I waited expectantly as he demonstrated each instrument from the band. Since my best friend played clarinet, I had my mind set on that instrument. Then suddenly, as I waited for Mr. Elnes to get to the clarinet, I was stunned by the magical sound of the saxophone. From that day forward I became dedicated to the saxophone!"
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