Dancing Fantasy,
Dancing Fantasy
(Higher Octave Jazz, 1999)

Dancing Fantasy is a smooth pleasure ride through jazz land. This is the first time that I've ridden with Dancing Fantasy (the band) and it was such a wonderful experience that I didn't want to get out of the car.

"Take Five" begins the journey, although not a "break" as its name suggests, but a snappy warm-up for the good things to come. After that, lay back, close your eyes and enjoy the ride to the slow-paced, but absolutely dreamy "For a Lifetime." The third track, "Coming Up Roses," is lovely -- a rose with no thorns. One of my favourite tracks, "Say You Will," is happy-go-plucky, upbeat energy with a twang.

"Moments in Love" is either the pulsing throb of a heart, or a headache, depending on when it hits me. Jazz soars high in "Fly" with vocals by Sam Leigh Brown (a female). Track seven, "Eternal," another excellent selection, sings shrill melodies that effectively portray a sense of desire and longing. "Power of Life," perhaps my least favourite song on the CD, reminds me somewhat of the sound of corn popping over a tea kettle's whistle.

A slow ride ensues as we are back on the road with "Deep in a Dream," drift sleepily through jazz land. The breeze is cool and quite pleasant here. I'm not sure what "Goldmund" is -- perhaps it's a state of mind -- but nevertheless, tap along with the "doo dah doo da doo, doo da doo, doo dah doo da da doo," it feels good. "Carpe Diem" seizes the day with shades of Yanni -- a quite enjoyable view. "Seasons" slows the pace, but continues to please the ears with its snazzy, deliberate sway. More appropriate titled that the breaking track, "Farewell" whispers parting thoughts on the cool breeze.

It had been a long time for me between this taste of jazz and my days at the Sanibel Jazz on the Green Festivals, featuring stars such as David Sanborn, Chuck Mangione and others. Dancing Fantasy, an excellent mood evoker, brought me back to those days. If I closed my eyes, I could feel the lush, damp grass beneath me and feel the wind as it danced across the tropical island. Although I think this collection is mis-titled -- the "dancing" throws one off in terms of expectation -- it is a must-listen-to for jazz lovers. For me, Dancing Fantasy was such a pleasant experience that "Jazz Sundays" (a late-morning/early afternoon breakfast with mimosas and jazz ear candy) are back!

[ by Lynne Remick ]



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