Faster Than Light
As the musical guru for the Area 203 group, lead guitarist Tony Smith often says, 'all music is merely a riff and a rhythm.' Far too often we find ourselves in a musical buttonhole proclaiming that we love 'classical, but can't stand rap.' We love pop but can't tolerate easy listening. The point is that whether we are listening to Bach's Brandenburg Concerto's or the jazz of Thelonious Monk we are listening to great music created by musical geniuses. Imagine the stir that would have been caused if in Bach's time Rachmaninoff was touring with his 3rd Piano Concerto. Parents would be locking the doors to keep the children in, as they did later with the alarming look of the Beatles, to keep the impressionable ears from hearing the wildly romantic intonations of this outlandish 'Rach' star. Little by little the music industry began to realize that categorizing all music was preventing vast audiences from appreciating what others had to offer and so they encouraged the so-called cross over artists of the 60's and 70's. Finally white audiences were being reached by black artists and vice versa. What Area 203 has done is far more difficult. This group actually plays all of the musical genres and weaves the best of all the sounds into a delicate musical tapestry. For years I had been playing piano as a classical style pianist, until one of the other keyboard artists in the group, the incredibly talented Hardy Eason, taught me to be free and open up my mind and heart to the sounds around me. Years ago my music theory professor, Stefan Volpe, a modernist composer of significant impact, tried to teach me to be free as well. I didn't listen. At three in the morning one day I sat down at the piano and composed a piece which is called Stefan V on the Faster Than Light CD---I am beginning to understand the concept of musical freedom. Tony keeps telling me to open my eyes, ears and heart to the music, and to understand that it is all good. This CD has it all. The opening theme let's you know that the goal is to play the music skilfully and to let you enjoy the song, whether it be the avant-garde egress, or the beautifully lyrical Abuelito. Whether you are enjoying the graceful Spanish tinges of Abrazmos or Giver of Song or the kicking rhythms of Morning in LA, you are in for a treat. Enjoy the longingly sensual Like No Other, soon to be released on our next CD with all it's lyrics. This song is written by another super talent, Marlyn Miranda. Appreciate the intricate bass lines of Scott Spallone. There is no finer trumpet player out there than William Fluker. For another listening treat try cut 12-Last Chance For Happiness and follow along as Annette Spruill overwhelms you with her great voice and vocal stylings-this song could easily be sitting on top of the so-called pop charts. The title cut of the CD is Faster Than Light, --what it basically preaches is that you should never give in to the temptation of doing things the easy way--to take the shortcuts--the only way to succeed is through hard work---this CD involved a great deal of hard work and a dedication to bring the best music possible to you. Throughout all of the music is the everpresent guiding hand, one that effortlessly slides over the guitar strings-and sleeps with his axe--Tony Smith. All one has to do to absolutely love this CD is to listen and open your heart--let the music in and enjoy. Bob Field.