Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, New Age, Pop, Rock
Mark Isham's enduring 1983 solo debut captures his graduation from gifted trumpeter with groups like Rubisa Patrol, Group 87, and, most visibly, Van Morrison, to composer with a more versatile and ambitious body of work. ... more »
Mark Isham's enduring 1983 solo debut captures his graduation from gifted trumpeter with groups like Rubisa Patrol, Group 87, and, most visibly, Van Morrison, to composer with a more versatile and ambitious body of work. On Vapor Drawings, Isham's trumpet and flugelhorn are augmented by synthesizers, piano, soprano sax, and electronic percussion in a series of layered, atmospheric tone poems that nod to Philip Glass and Steve Reich, as well as to European classicism and Eastern modalities. Deemed a new age record as much for its label home as for any intrinsic musical elements, this music is cinematic in scale and drama, especially on its best-known track, the majestic"On the Threshold of Liberty," which anticipated Isham's prolific output as a major film composer in the intervening years. --Sam Sutherland
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SV S. (Sphinx)
Reviewed on 10/18/2015...
Fans of Eno and Vangelis will probably enjoy this album. I certainly did!
This album doesn't generally demand attention, but rewards it richly. The compositions are creative, fresh-sounding, and beautiful. My only complaint is that some of the songs are not long enough ("When Things Dream" should be much longer, in my opinion).
From meditative to almost narrative in a film soundtrack way, these wordless synth soundscapes are the product of a thoughtful, sensitive mind. A very serene, soothing album, though it's not lullaby fodder; it's more energetic than that.
Four and a half stars (you can raise this rating, Mark, by remixing some of these so they're longer! Vapor Drawings 2.0?).
A Wonderful Debut Album
SHAD E JESSEN | Portland, OR USA | 06/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Sympathy and Acknowledgment" and "Men Before the Mirror" are minimalist pieces possibly inspired by Brian Eno but on par with the finest works of Reich and Glass. "Many Chinas" is full of creative synth textures and crisp trumpet lines. "In the Blue Distance" is a terrific composition, with beautifully dense chords at the end. I love this album; despite the 1983 release date it isn't dated at all, thanks to Isham's boundless creativity and his innovative synthesizer work. As much as I love his trumpet, I'd ... for another synth album from him."
Mark Isham's Forgotten Synth Dreamwork
Paul Allaer | Cincinnati | 10/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mark Isham nowadays is associated primarily with his ample soundtrack work and his trumpet skills. However, Isham made a one-time expansion into the world of synthesizer moods on this 1983 album, which remains overlooked in his oeuvre.The album is built around 4 essential tracks (unfortunately, none of which you can sample here on Amazon): "Sympathy & Acknowledgment" is a superb piece of weaving synthezisers into a mesmorizing sound caleidoscope. "On the Threshold of Liberty" (probably his best known individual piece, as a result of the plug Windham Hill gave it on sampler albums and compilations) is a Bolero-like build-up from very faint to an all-out burst of trumpet and synths. "Raffles in Rio" and "Men Before the Mirror" are two more beautifully crafted "minimalist" synth pieces.The rest of the album are shorter pieces. "When Things Dream" and "Something Nice For My Dog", both soft piano/background synth pieces, truly are "album-fillers", reason I cannot give the album 5 stars.Following the surprising success of "Vapor Drawings", Isham decidedly turned away from the synthesizer wizardry (one can consider his next album, the "Never Cry Wolf" soundtrack, a transition album), and ultimately disavowed "Vapor" if not in words, then certainly by his actions. (Wanna have another hit, Mark? How about "Vapor Drawings 2"?) I guess making Hollywood soundtracks was more challenging. Nevertheless, "Vapor" remains required listening for any serious synthesizer fan."