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Best Albums 2012

Red ViolinWith the festive celebration of New Year’s Eve behind us, New Year’s Day 2013 marks another new beginning in so many ways. If you made a New Year’s resolution this year, there will be challenges in the days, weeks and months ahead, but as you know, every challenge presents itself with a new opportunity to claim a personal victory of your own.

Hello everyone, my name is John P. Olsen. As the site and interview host for New Age Music World I can tell you from personal experience the artists I represent are resolute to do their very best with each new album they produce.

I have the opportunity to meet the majority of artist I write about, and felt this was the perfect occasion to publicly express the deep admiration I have for the artists I have met, and tell you of their determination with producing the finest new music they hope will ultimately meet our approval.

Many of the artists I encounter earn a living by their talents as a musician, so it’s partly the reason each year they aim high and are determined to do their very best at producing new music you will purchase for yourself and tell your friends about.

There is a lot of competition in the music industry worldwide as you can imagine, and I am pleased to say the artist’s with new instrumental albums in 2012 have done exceptionally well in achieving their goals in 2012. Their high ambitions have paid dividends by rewarding us with an outstanding collection of new albums and songs during the past year.

French HornThis year like every year I am given the opportunity to sample the newest music in most cases before the album has been released to the public. In 2012 nearly 200 releases were sent to me for review consideration so in general terms I can say it was an outstanding year for some of the finest new songs and albums in all categories of Americana, electronic, instrumental, new age, soundtrack and world music.

Like stated on my profile page, I am here to represent the artists and their music not self-promote, however if you like an artist at New Age Music World, you are invited to tell your friends at Facebook and other social media networking sites.

I can assure you the artists will appreciate any extra publicity you can give them by telling your friends through social media networks. With that said, permit me to tell you about a select group of artists who I admire and believe have produced an instrumental album you will enjoy too.

Today I am pleased to present my yearly award recommendation for the Best Instrumental Albums I sampled or wrote an album review for during 2012. The 12 Best Instrumental Albums are listed in alphabetical order by the album title. Included are direct links to the artist’s site so you may sample or purchase songs and albums direct from the artist or music stores. Big Stock Photos by Fotomy, EvgenaD & Ambrits.

Music World Albums

1 - 15th Anniversary Concert by Artists of Eversound.1. 15th Anniversary Concert by Artists of Eversound.

One of the best vocal and instrumental compilation albums produced in 2012 is the 15th Anniversary Concert recording, featuring a live concert performance by the artists representing the Eversound Label. The 15th Anniversary Concert recording is a special compilation album with 12 songs of beautiful melodies, upbeat rhythms, and a selection of wonderful vocalists from Eversound. This special edition available on CD or DVD was recorded in Santa Barbara, California during 2012. For record label Eversound the finest quality artists is what makes this collection special!

The Artists of Eversound on The 15th Anniversary Concert album are Stuart Hoffman, Cara Tower, Curtis Macdonald, Manuel Iman, Suzanne Ciani, Diane Arkenstone, Steve McPeters, Amanda Blue, Eduardo del Signore, John Adorney and Daya, with special guests Fuzzbee Morse, Richard Hardy, and supporting 10 piece ensemble. To sample or purchase the 15th Anniversary Concert and 10 Year Anniversary albums with 2 CDs with 35 songs from 20 albums visit EverSound.com.

2 - Badlands by Eric Tingstad.2. Badlands by Eric Tingstad.

Badlands is the new Americana album from GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist and record producer Eric Tingstad, who is a seasoned songwriting guitarist in a variety of instrumental music genres. Eric Tingstad’s diverse range of music styles are Americana, alternative country, ambient, blues, jazz, new age, rock and more. The 12 songs on Badlands is a moving canvas of Americana music at its finest, honoring traditions of American roots and Western culture in contemporary style.

Badlands is unique to most instrumental albums by the prominent lap steel and pedal steel guitar parts in unison with a professional team of artists performing on English horn, bass guitar, organ, violin oboe, trumpet and percussion. Eric Tingstad’s lifelike rendition colorfully illustrates a beautiful portrait of the desert Southwest with vibrant transparency. The surreal beauty and splendor of Badlands is a picturesque representation of contemporary Americana music. Sample or purchase Badlands, and for information on Cheshire Studios production services visit EricTingstad.com.

3 - Believe by 2002.3. Believe by 2002.

The contemporary instrumental album Believe by the Billboard Charting music group 2002 is truly a commendable album in this collection of best albums from 2012. Believe is the 14th quality driven album by Pamela, Randy and newest member and daughter, Sarah Copus. The 10 instrumental vocal songs Believe is more progressive from previous releases by a majority of songs covering a variety of rock influences, plus more songs with inspiring vocals and lyrical verses you are sure to enjoy.

The music group 2002 won the admiration of people worldwide after the release of their first album Wings in 1992. The year 2012 marks a 20th year anniversary for the professional, award-winning group 2002. Believe has received the highest praise from the most important and respected critics of all, being their fans. Randy and Pamela Copus have reached a level of success they envisioned 20 years ago, and taken it to the very next level by producing a hit album said to be the best music by 2002 yet! Visit the band and sample or purchase Believe at 2002Music.com.

4 - Bindu by Michael Brant DeMaria.4. Bindu by Michael Brant DeMaria.

Bindu has a unique distinction in this Best Instrumental Albums publication by Michael Brant DeMaria’s Nomination for Best Album in the 55th GRAMMYr Awards set for February 10, 2013. This is the fourth Nomination within the past four years, for the esteemed recording artist, psychologist, author and lecturer. Michael transforms his capacities as a healthcare professional into therapeutic music designed to help people manage life’s challenges. Bindu is the pinnacle of healing music, which illuminates Bindu’s prestigious status as an award winning album.

Michael Brant DeMaria’s leading role as an artist has resulted in many of the best albums for meditation and healing. The esteemed recording artist and integrative psychotherapist Michael Brant DeMaria is conceivably one of the most accomplished artists in the healing/meditation category. This year could result in a long overdue GRAMMY® Award. Bindu, Gaia, Ocean & Siyotanka have made #1 on ZMR’s Radio Chart. Find Bindu and new album The Maiden of Stonehenge at Ontos.org.

5 - Chariots of Fire - The Play by Vangelis.5. Chariots of Fire: The Play by Vangelis.

Chariots of Fire: The Play is 11 songs of new orchestral music in 2012 by legendary cinematic composer Vangelis. It was a triumphant year for Vangelis himself when his Chariots of Fire (song) was selected for the Official London 2012 Olympic Games theme music for official opening and award ceremonies. The Original Chariots of Fire Soundtrack, which won Vangelis an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score, is said to be the most recognizable motion picture soundtrack score ever produced.

Chariots of Fire: On Stage by Vangelis, is a brand new Olympic themed theatrical movie soundtrack score created for the theater stage adaptation showing in the UK of the Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire movie. With a lot of international press news given to one single song Chariots of Fire, let’s not overlook the entire album is remarkable. The masterful piano and keyboard composition Chariots of Fire by Vangelis was the perfect theme song for the many moments of inspiration during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Find Chariots of Fire: The Play at Amazon.com.

6 - El Dorado by Luna Blanca.6. El Dorado by Luna Blanca.

International Nouveau Flamenco ensemble Luna Blanca has created an exhilarating new wave of excitement with their new instrumental project in 2012 titled El Dorado. The cosmopolitan sound qualities of the 14 songs on El Dorado express the diverse ethnicity of Nouveau Flamenco with classic sophistication and grace. Recognized for their energetic songs backed by lively world music rhythms, the sunny casual atmosphere is the greatest musical characteristic of the band Luna Blanca.

El Dorado is an outstanding release expressing the inherent music qualities that first began Luna Blanca’s rise to fame and admiration as a leading Nouveau Flamenco ensemble. Like earlier album Provence, passionate acoustic phrasing and compelling world rhythms blend brilliantly on El Dorado. Based in Bocholt Germany, members are founding guitarist Richard Hecks, with pianist, and co-composer Helmut Graebe, guitarist Bino Dola and artist Clemens Paskert on bass, percussion and keyboards. Find El Dorado and new LP Obsession at LunaBlancaMusic.com.

 Best Instrumental

7 - Festa by Tribali.7. Fiesta by Tribali.

If energetic world music and ethnic percussion sound like a fine way to celebrate your day, look no farther than the newest album titled Festa, by international concert recording band Tribali from Malta. Like another 2012 release titled The Traveller, the Festa album by Tribali, with 13 songs has a level of energy off the chart in terms of the animated atmosphere. It’s an amazing feat of magic in the way they cross blend influences ranging from world music, new age, folk, reggae, rock, and jazz.

The variety of instruments in Tribali music is equally broad incorporating didgeridoo, electric sitar, murchunga, guimbri, cahon, hang and tabla, with more traditional guitars, keyboards, vocals, violin, trumpet and percussion. Placing an emphasis on cultural multiplicity in every project the ethnic tradition of international Maltese band Tribali is a great way to revel any time, any place, any day. There is also talk of the group Tribali representing Malta at the annual worldwide Eurovision Song Contest. Visit the band at TribaliMusic.com to sample or purchase Festa & The Traveller.

8 - Let Mother Earth Speak by Dennis Banks & Kitaro.8. Let Mother Earth Speak by Dennis Banks & Kitaro.

One of the most memorable album reviews I wrote of many this year was the album Let Mother Earth Speak, with 9 songs by two distinguished figures who deliver a universal message of peace by spoken word and traditional Native American music. Released on September 11, 2012 the message of peace on Let Mother Earth Speak is given by famous Native American activist and musician Dennis Banks, and international new age celebrity, and GRAMMY® Award-winning artist Kitaro.

Let Mother Earth Speak is a narrated life history of Native American Dennis Banks, an Anishinabe from the land of the Ojibwa people. The authenticity in the voice of Dennis Banks is compelling in the manner he uses spoken word and traditional Native American Indian songs to encourage a more peaceful existence in life. The masterful instrumentals by Kitaro on keyboards, Native Indian Flute, percussion, and ethnic woodwinds equally embolden this unifying message of peace. Visit the Domo Music Group pages for Dennis Banks and Kitaro and Let Mother Earth Speak.

9 - The Gathering by Will Ackerman.9. The Gathering by Will Ackerman.

The Gathering is an exceptional instrumental music compilation album from the acclaimed, GRAMMY® Award-winning guitarist and music producer Will Ackerman. Famous worldwide for his talents as a producer the Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman is a legendary artist, producer and leading figure in the instrumental music recording industry. Will Ackerman’s legacy of quality as producer and founder of Windham Hill Records endures today at the Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont.

The Gathering is an exclusive music collection of 22 top-quality songs by 22 great artists, Will Ackerman hand selected for this release. The artists comprised on this special compilation album were selected from the many fine musicians who had their album produced at his state-of-the-art Imaginary Road Studios. Will Ackerman has produced albums for over 84 artists, including famous artists like Alex de Grassi, Michael Hedges, Michael Manring, Shadowfax, Liz Story and artist George Winston. Find The Gathering at CDBaby.com and visit WilliamAckerman.com.

10 - The Piano by Best of Reviews New Age.10. The Piano by Best of Reviews New Age.

One of the finest solo piano/instrumental albums in 2012 is a compilation release titled The Piano. This exclusive collection of piano music with 17 top-quality songs by 17 great pianists was produced by Reviews New Age founding editor and blog host, Alejandro Clavijo from Spain. This compilation release has drawn a lot of praise for the comprehensive selection of today’s top quality artists performing their best piano songs. Many artists are top ranked pianists, while other artists are equitably recognized names in the new age solo piano music category.

The Best of Reviews New Age: The Piano featuring 17 songs compiled of the best song selections from 17 top contemporary pianists is great for persons acquainted with the solo piano category. Many artists on this release are celebrated for their popular piano with instrumental albums too. The Piano by Reviews New Age is perfect for persons new to the specialized solo piano music category and want to start with a superb introductory album. Visit ReviewsNewAge.com for The Piano.

11 - Thirty-One Nights by Nicholas Gunn.11. Thirty-One Nights by Nicholas Gunn.

Instrumental recording artist Nicholas Gunn has always been intensely passionate about flute music, and never has this been made clearer than his instrumental album Thirty-One Nights. The 13 songs on Nicholas Gunn’s 14th release is significant by the uncompromising instrumental qualities. This is to be expected of the acclaimed flutist Nicholas Gunn, who made Billboard’s Top 10 Charts, with 55 consecutive weeks overall on Billboard’s New Age Charts, and over two million in album sales.

The platinum selling recording artist Nicholas Gunn enlisted two professional artists on Thirty-One Nights. On a number of songs vocalist Dana Kemmerle sings soft poetic verses and acoustic guitarist Chris Fossek give depth and balance to the 13 songs with world music influences. Recently Nicholas Gunn announced a change to electronic dance music with the name (We Are) Nexus. The classically trained flutist Nicholas Gunn is a master at instrumental music, so expect this to continue with his new endeavor (We Are) Nexus. Find Thirty-One Nights at NicholasGunn.com.

12 - Yanni-Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico by Yanni.12. Yanni-Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico by Yanni.

For international concert and recording artist Yanni, the year 2012 was another successful tour season of sold out concerts during his North American Concert Tour. For the millions of Yanni fans, comprised of people from all nationalities, and possibly every country in the world, last year resulted in an outstanding concert recording titled Yanni-Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico. The stormy, windswept concert venue held a silver lining by turning out to be one of Yanni’s best concert recordings, which was televised on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and made available on CD or DVD.

Yanni-Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico is a concert album featuring many of Yanni’s most popular songs and several songs from 2011 studio album titled Truth Of Touch. For the leading international concert celebrity with around one billion admirers, Live at El Morro is an exceptional recording showing the passion in which he delivers to an audience every time. Yanni and his world-class orchestra give instrumental solos that can only be described as stunning! Find music and concert info at Yanni.com.

This concludes my Best Instrumental Albums 2012 recommendation. Earlier I wrote two publications titled Best Electronic Albums – 2012 and Best New Age Music – 2012, so find more recommendations of the finest electronic and new age albums I sampled or reviewed in 2012. Check back for news, concert info, interviews and new music in 2013.

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