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Mannheim Steamroller
"Fresh Aire II"

© American Gramaphone Reco Year of Release: 1977

track listing
  • Chorale
  • The First Door
  • The Second Door
  • The Third Door
  • The Fourth Door
  • The Fifth Door
  • The Sixth Door
  • Door Seven
  • Fantasy
  • Interlude V
  • Velvet Tear
  • A Shade Tree
  • Toota Lute
  • Going To Another Place

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    Mannheim Steamroller
    "Fresh Aire II"

    "The Fresh Aire albums have always been inspired by the eclectic possibilities of various musical styles, as well as inspiration, technically based on the various forms of performance."
    -- Chip Davis

    Chip Davis said it best, concerning his Fresh Aire releases for Mannheim Steamroller. His popularity with these albums have proven that music can be incorporated into the next level -- combining various styles such as Classical, New Age Jazz, Theatrical, and even Medieval themed music. What is also inspiring, is that the Fresh Aire series started in the late 1970s (Volumes 1-3), long before New Age music would become popular in the 1980s, likewise Classical, which has always been popular, but not as fast growing, as it would become in later decades.

    The short intro "Chorale" has a more Medieval-styled sound, as heard in the Royal entrance. "Chorale" blends into what is called the Door Series: "The First Door", "The Second Door", "The Third Door", "The Fourth Floor", "The Fifth Door", "The Sixth Door" and "Door Seven". The first and second doors blend in together; the third and fourth are both individual songs on their own; the fifth, sixth and door seven blend into one another as well. All in all, they have the medieval theme, as in such classic solo albums released by former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman (King Arthur, Softsword to name just a few...) "Door Seven" blends into "Fantasy," as the piano on "Fantasy" finishes the medieval-styled sound. "Chorale", the 7 Door pieces, plus "Fantasy" are meant to be played continuously, for pure entertaining enjoyment.

    "Interlude V" is simply a beautiful relaxing Classical piano piece, and again, it is easily compared to the solo piano works of Rick Wakeman (Heritage Suite, Country Airs to name a few...)

    The piano stands out again on "Velvet Tear," accompanied by other sources of musical instruments. Yet, it is another classic piece of relaxing piano music, very impressive, and is also great mood music.

    Classic accoustic guitar is played beautifully on "A Shade Tree," with a full orchestra; another truly beautiful relaxing song. "Toota Lute" and "Going To Another Place" is best described as Irish/Celtic music, featuring the flutes and full orchestra accompaninent.

    Each Fresh Aire album represents a theme -- The first four represented the four seasons. Fresh Aire II represented the Fall season. The remaining four (Fresh Aire V, VI, 7, 8) represented mankind's curiosities: To the Moon, Greek Mythology, Mystic 7 and Infinity. No matter what the season or curiosity, any Fresh Aire album can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

    Talented musicians such as Chip Davis and Rick Wakeman takes music into another dimension and sound. Listening to their albums bring a breath of Fresh Air to those who look for something different in music. Incorporating music themes such as Classical, New Age Jazz, and even Progressive Rock (as in Emerson, Lake & Palmer) have always turned heads into a positive direction for those looking for that different approach in music. Listening to Chip Davis proves that music can be enjoyed more, and is a break away from the common popular styled music heard on regular pop radio playlists.

    As the title says, take a Fresh Aire approach into the music of Chip Davis and Mannheim Steamroller. It is definitely worth the cool breezes and musical differences you will easily recognize.

    Check out the Mannheim Steamroller website at

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    Previous Review: #778
    Huey Lewis & The News--Plan B
    Next Review: #780
    Bob Dylan--Blood On The Tracks