David Cortopassi,
Embrace Destiny
(Digital Cellars, 2003)

Embrace Destiny is the third CD by David Cortopassi released on his independent label, Digital Cellars, and the first to feature his son, Joshua. Although he has tried to add some new elements to his composition, he has retained much of the style that his listeners have grown accustomed to. So this new CD is a mixture of jazz and light rock, instrumentals and vocals, and strong ballads.

This was my introduction to David Cortopassi. Gosh! His vocals are fantastic! He can manipulate his voice through an extreme range of octaves and styles. His rich tone has a resonating quality that soothes the listener. Yet, he has the ability to change his tone and project a light, airy style. I was fascinated by the way he can alter his voice with such control.

The first song, "No One Gets Me Up Like You Do," is my favorite because of the lyrics. He tells his love that she has a special effect on him and he believes she must be a witch using voodoo to have such power. It is a beautiful song that will stick in your mind. I also really like the lyrics for "High School Reunion," which tells the truth and hits home for so many people. It's a song from the average American's life, except for the type of car he drives. (I doubt many of us have a Lambourgini.) Perhaps "Chevrolet" would be a better fit for the "average" American. Still, it is a song that most of us can easily relate to.

"Loony Roony" spotlights Joshua's guitar ability. His playing will lift your stress and have you drifting along, likely with closed eyes and head tossed back. His playing is divine. The two instrumentals, "Seattle By Night" and "The Whole-Tone Shuffle," give the listener a chance to focus entirely on the music and to absorb the wonderful intricacy of the composition -- as well as the magnificent skill of the musicians. "The Whole-Tone Shuffle" is out of this world!

I have to confess that I find jazz extremely relaxing. The only way I can stay awake when listening to good jazz is to dance a lot. I was sound asleep on top of my keyboard before the end of the sixth track the first time I listened to this CD. That's what I call great jazz! If it relaxes me that much, it gets my stamp of approval.

I wondered why there was such an emphasis on the light rock aspect in the promo materials for this CD. But when I got to track nine, "Cool As a Conscience Can Be," I understood. It is more rock with jazz undertones. A beautiful piece! "Mistaken Identity" is the song for the divorced listeners. We empathise with these lyrics.

The artists featured in these selections are: David Cortopassi (piano, keyboards, vibes, and vocals), Joshua Cortopassi (electric and acoustic guitars), Daniel Cortopassi (electric guitar in "Mistaken Identity") and Steve Mann (tenor, alto and soprano saxophones and Synthophone).

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 7 June 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.