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Fresh Aire I

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 9 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00004WFMN
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,483 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Prelude
2. Chocolate Fudge
3. Interlude I
4. Sonata
5. Interlude II
6. Saras Band
7. Fresh Aire
8. Rondo
9. Interlude III
10. Pass The Keg (Lia)
11. Interlude IV
12. Mist

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Though this is the first of the Fresh Aire series, I hesitate to recommend it as anyone's introduction to the series. Primarily that's because the album hasn't aged too well, and the synthesizers sounds that may have worked great in the 1970s now sound a little cheesy (also, the recording quality, though once a benchmark for audiophiles, now seems a little weak.)
Having said that, composer Chip Davis surpringly displays more musical talent here than on some of his most recent efforts. "Chocolate Fudge" is a great high energy track to get things going. "Mist" is a short, but sweet finale, and "Sonata" is one of the most classically inspired pieces ever heard on a Fresh Aire album.
The album's tone is somewhat mellow, due in large part to solo piano interludes (there are 4 here, unlike on the later FA albums where there were only one, if any.) Listen closely to the interludes, and you'll see Chip is using a pattern (the first interlude uses a 4 note pattern, second is 3 notes, 3rd is 2 notes, and 4 is just one note.) There are other subtle things like this that make the album a bit more interesting. Listen to "Sara's Band" for example. Slow it down, and you have "Embers" from Fresh Aire 4, (and you also the ending to "Stille Nacht" from their famous Christmas album.) Of course, most of this is irrelevant to anyone other than the diehard fans.
Definitely recommended, but I'd suggest starting with one of the later Fresh Aires (#6 or 7 are both excellent. #2 is also quite good, being similar in tone to this album, but more polished.)
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Format: Audio CD
As a young Chip Davis fan, I grew up listening to his first early albums. At the time I remember them as being absolutely incredible, but revisiting them some 20 years later has changed my perception on a lot of these releases.
Fresh Aire I is still one of the better in the series. It's a very mellow CD that's great for evening listens. Very pretty stuff. Historically, its groundbreaking too; the mix of Old World music with contemporary instrumentation, and Chip's love of the latest musical technology put this group all alone when this was released. On record, it was an audiophiles dream. The best example on the disc is the inventive introduction, Prelude/Chocolate Fudge, that sounds just like it's "Classical Rock" description.
Their are several drawbacks to the album, chiefly of all is that it sounds dated. The pioneering sound means that many studio effects and synthesizers used have since become extinct. Also, not a single one of the interludes is very musically interesting (generally only one line of melody in each one) and 4 of them on one album gets tedious; they might as well be the same track.
Perhaps not an eternal album, it's still a solid start to an interesting musical journey.
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Format: Audio CD
Mannheim Steamroller's have been classified in many catagories - New Age (genre), progressive electronic, adult alternative, neo-classical, innocent, mellow and laid back - but none of these express their very essence of performing great music...from the heart.
Chip Davis, their leader combines "18th Century classical rock", that is - classical music performed on electric bass and synthesizers, the result is astounding. No label was interested in such a venture, so Chip formed his own company (American Gramaphone) in 1974, his first album is this one "Fresh Aire I", to demonstrate state-of-the-art sound on your home audio equipment.
Of course the entire album is the original one-of-a-kind that started the whole craze, since then eight volumes have surfaced - "Fresh Aire II" (1977), "Fresh Aire III" (1979), "Fresh Aire 4" (1981), "Fresh Aire V" (1983), "Fresh Aire VI" (1986), "Fresh Aire 7" (1990) (was awarded the Grammy For Best New Age Recording and became the seventh Fresh Aire album to be officially certified gold), and lastly, the final album in the series - "Fresh Aire 8" (2000) explores eight topics of infinity.
His love for creating music and the fun of doing that has given his fans old and new something to be happy about...and for Chip, that's what matters most in this life - and the short-time we're here on this planet of ours!
Total Time: 33:24 on 12 Tracks...American Gramaphone AG-5001-2...(1975)
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