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P & J Records » Journey of the Heart

Journey of the Heart

Paul and Friends have COMPLETED their 3rd CD project –

“Journey of the Heart”!!

This CD is quite eclectic and features a series of original tunes which fall into the categories of jazz-rock, acoustic rock, blues, pop, easy listening, Brazilian jazz, and Christian.  I know that sounds like quite a potpourri, but it definitely works.
The album was recorded almost entirely at “Studio in the Country” in Bogalusa, Louisiana.  The engineer on the project was Ben Mumphrey.  Two gems on the album are Sammarco’s own up-beat, jazz-rock title track – “Journey of the Heart”, featuring the great vocals of Michael Klaus, and “Bad Habits”, and the talented Richard Toups.  The latter tune is the first US release of this high-energy Australian swing hit recorded by Billy Field.  Sammarco has attempted to retain the original flavor of the tune, but mixing William Mosking’s setting with his own hand and re-arranging it.  In “Laughter in the Rain”, the Neil Sedaka tune, Sammarco cleverly combines the arrangements of Sedaka and Jeffrey Foskett (Brian Wilson’s music director for his tours) and adds his own spice to the mix.  “Call Her Mellow” is a lilting Brazilian-style tune which will have you swinging and swaying.  Both of these latter tunes feature the smooth and beautiful vocals of Ben Melancon.  “Lost and Found” is an acoustic rock story song delivered by Michael Klaus, which will keep you listening like you were watching a movie.  “Yesterday’s Dream” is a tune about a mother’s advice to her daughter – a blues tune featuring the soaring voice of Sarah Sullivan on lead and the inimitable style of Jason Ricci (Grammy Award Winner, with Johnny Winter) on harmonica.  What a combination!  “Beautiful Day” is another light Brazilian-style story song, which will set your mind at ease.  It has been re-arranged by Sammarco and re-recorded after its original 1970 release, and once again features Ben Melancon on lead vocals.  “Find Your Paradise” is a light rock tune featuring Michael Klaus on lead vocal.  It has a bit of a dark theme – about drug addiction, but offers light at the end of the tunnel.  “Out of the Woods” is an instrumental about the ying and the yang of life, but coming out OK, depite it all.  It features wonderful musical interpretations on sax by Roger Kimball, the cutting and tasteful guitar of Mark Trentecosta, and the multi-talented Rachel Billiott on synthesizer.

The Christian tunes are firstly “The 23rd Psalm, with a Children’s Prayer”, with the story of the 23rd Psalm (“The Lord is my Shepherd…”) set as a child’s dream – sung by two choirs.  The second Christian tune is “The Lord, He Knows”, an acoustic tune with heavy vocal harmonies, again featuring Michael Klaus on lead vocals.  The third is “Create in Me a Clean Heart”, a beautiful Christian hymn, featuring the wonderfully talented Donna Sammarco on solo piano.  There are also four “Bonus Tracks” on the CD.  They are brief sections taken from Paul and Friends’ second CD “Smooth Sailing” where all instrumentals have been stripped from the recording to fully reveal the beautiful and complex acapella vocals associated with them.  The tunes featured here are “Have You Ever Seen…?”, “Drift Away”, and “Just One More Time”.  The singers are Martin Hart, Lindsay Melancon Ogle, Ben Melancon, and Paul W. Sammarco.

 

Click the play buttons below to play sample tracks of “Journey of the Heart”

1 Journey of the Heart

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2 Call Her Mellow

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3 Lost and Found

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4 Laughter in the Rain

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5 Create in Me a Clean Heart

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6 Yesterday’s Dream

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7 Bad Habits

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8 Beautiful Day

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9 The Lord, He Knows

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10 Find Your Paradise

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11 Out of the Woods

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12 The 23rd Psalm, With a Children’s Prayer  

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Bonus tracks:
13 Have You Ever Seen (background vocals)
14 Drift Away (background vocals)
15 Just One More Time (background vocals)
16 Just One More Time (lead and background vocals)
Purchase entire Journey of the Heart CD in MP3 format: $9.99
Purchase Journey of the Heart CD (will be shipped to you) $12.95

There are 11 cuts on this easy-on-the-ear CD by Paul and Friends – “Smooth Sailing”. Eight are originals by Paul.  Paul has included new arrangements of two standards or classics on the CD – “Helplessly Hoping”, a Stephen Stills original (“Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young”; Gold Hill Music, BMI), and “In My Life”, a Lennon and McCartney tune (Northern Music, BMI). The first features Paul, Martin Hart, and Des Anthony (“Three’s Company”, Australia). The second has become very popular, reaching #25 on the HMG Country Gospel music charts in 2015.  It spotlights Martin and Carol Hart.  Martin has a gorgeous voice, which will become clear to the listener upon first listening, highly complemented in a perfect blend by Carol. Those who have previewed these tunes have agreed that they are the best arrangements of them they have ever heard. We at P&J agree. The third cover is of “Amazing Grace”, a Christian standard, featuring Lindsay Melancon Ogle. Paul’s arrangement is a set in a jazz-rock framework with rich 6-part harmonies.

Other tunes include the driving anti-nuclear bomb tune – “What’s the Matter with That?”“Have You Ever Seen…?”, and the jazz-rock tune “Willie” featuring Joe Raines on lead vocals. “Just One More Time” and a new rendition of “Thanks for Being There” again feature Martin on lead vocals. Lindsay sings lead on “Drift Away”. There is also a smooth jazz instrumental called “Brunch in the Big Easy”, dedicated to the rebirth of a great city – New Orleans, LA, after the destructive forces of Hurricane Katrina, now still a vivid memory. The title track is unique. “Smooth Sailing” is a short 6-part a capella piece designed after and executed like some of the best Beach Boys and Manhattan Transfer works.

Once again, Paul wrote, arranged, performed on, and produced the pieces. The overall production of “Smooth Sailing” took quite a while, but was well worth the wait.  We believe Paul and Friends’ second CD represents another substantial step forward in writing, performance, and production for the group.

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