18 Songs, 1 Hour 7 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

MDiamond ,

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus

“Playing With Shadows” has a generous 18 tracks, 10 of which feature fretless bass maestro Michael Manring, who is considered the premier bassist in the new age music genre. Pianist/ guitarist David Franklin was greatly influenced by the innovative guitar playing of Michael Hedges, who along with Mr. Manring were early luminaries on the Windham Hill label. The album opens with a lovely solo piano composition entitled “Living In Interesting Times.” David describes this piece as being “inspired by exploring the bounds of time.” Track 3 is a fingerstyle acoustic guitar piece called “Giza” that is the first duet with Michael Manring, and is absolutely exquisite. On part of this song Michael uses a hand-held electronic device called an E-bow, which is held over the strings and provides infinite sustain. At times, his long deep notes, almost sound like whale songs echoing across the deep. I appreciated the interplay between the two musicians, and particularly liked when they played phrases in unison.

And speaking of duets, a track called “Shifting Landscapes – Dusk,” features David on piano playing with Rick Corrigan on accordion. A very special guest joins David and Michael on the wistful and dreamy, “Goodbyes” – David’s teenage son, Alex Franklin, who adds his spacey electric guitar lead and echoed accents of cascading notes, giving a slight hint of Pink Floyd vibe in that section – very cool. Among my favorite songs is “Rolling,” which for me, really highlighted David’s fluid guitar playing as well as his skills as a composer, with its intriguing chord progressions and evolution through various movements. Along with Michael Manring’s exquisite electric bass, David adds a track of piano to complete the mix. The fact that he is equally accomplished on the keyboard as on the fretboard is evident throughout the album. David’s abilities as a composer and multi-instrumentalist shine throughout the18 engaging tracks of “Playing With Shadows.” But in addition to David’s musical gifts is his heartfelt desire to, in some small way, make the world a better place.

GenaPeters ,

LOVELY SOLO, DUO AND TRIO MUSIC FROM PIANIST-GUITARIST DAVID FRANKLIN

David Franklin plays acoustic guitar and acoustic piano equally well and he shows off his talents to great effect on his first all-instrumental album, PLAYING WITH SHADOWS. Ten of the tunes feature Michael Manring, considered the pre-imminent bass-player in new age music. The interplay between the various instruments is stellar. On a few pieces Franklin overdubs himself so that it is a trio sound with piano, guitar and bass (plus accordion on one tune and guest electric guitar on another). There also are a handful of solo piano numbers interspersed throughout.

Franklin is a life-long musician who previously worked as a drummer and electric-keyboardist in rock bands, and recorded several singer-songwriter folk-pop albums, plus an avant-garde recording. He also is licensed therapist and an environmentalist (he once made an ecological awareness trek on foot all the way across the United States).

This is gentle, full-of-feeling music. The piano and acoustic guitar are real acoustic instruments (no synthesizers) and Manring plays the hauntingly-flowing fretless electric bass. The music they create is eclectic, invigorating and passionate.

muzikman97 ,

David Franklin Creates Instrumental Bliss!

18 tracks is a lot of music and Franklin uses the space well throughout the recording. I was impressed with the overall diversity that I heard. Between the acoustic guitar, piano and Manring’s amazing fretless bass, each track held its own very well. For a listener that wants to take the time to hear it all fall into place within each track, I would recommend taking the time to do so. It not only soothes and relaxes; it brings to mind pleasant images that give a very spiritual atmosphere. Textured like a billowing cloud sitting in the middle of a clear blue sky, this music awaits you.

Keith Hannaleck

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