Martin Lass

Galactic Music, 2002

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


"Oh, great," I thought to myself, opening yet another promotional mailer. "More pseudo-newage crap. More ear candy."my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Teach me to prejudge CDs, won't it? Because Australian violinist Martin Lass is damned good, and his latest offering, Sonnet, is a joy to listen to. It's infectuous. I found myself over the last two days playing it over and over again, especially while I was working or writing. This is good stuff.

Despite Lass' own biography referring to himself as a pop violinist, this is nowhere near Jean-Luc Ponty or Vanessa Mae. Lass' licks are straight out of the nineteenth century, along with his flowing hair. (He bears more than a passing resemblance to Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen from BBC's Changing Rooms, a fact which frightens me somewhat.) He lists Yehudi Mehunin as a major influence, and indeed he's more classical in his playing style; only the piano and flute arrangements push this into the area of New Age. (He plays the piano, too. This guy is enough to make one ill.)

Production on the CD is good, though not great; I picked up some hiss high in the treble, but I couldn't tell you if that's the recording or my cheap stereo. (Upgrade pending. I swear.) The mix is good, and the sound of the violin is impeccable, and let's face it, that's really what matters.

All the tracks on this CD are good; they're not faceless, either, but it's hard to pick one out for special kudos. I think, however, "The Sea Of Tranquility" is worth special notice. It's lovely.

If you're a fan of classical/new age music and of well-played violin, check out the romantic stylings of Martin Lass. You won't be sorry.

Rating: A-

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© 2002 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Galactic Music, and is used for informational purposes only.