Rick Gravelin, Amore Moments
Unrepentant lounge lizards who thrill to Muzak might want to check out Rick Gravelin's Amore Moments, which his press release calls "easy listening Latin feel work." To my ears these 15 tunes are vaguely Euro-sounding — there are plenty of Salsa-esque rhythms, but that faux accordion jibes with the painting of Venice on the CD cover. While this jazz-lite collection is a far cry from the zany brilliance of Mexican composer Esquivel, it is often delightfully cheesy, thanks to the MIDI-derived bass, drums and miscellaneous "instruments.” Gravelin, a musician, composer and owner of South Burlington studio RCS Productions, contributes acoustic grand piano and guitar along with said electronics. Melodically the tunes are simple and often repetitive; my favorites are the melancholic" L'Amore Eel"; and the wistfully pretty "Swim With Me." Gravelin's guitar work is crisply picked, his piano on the lithe side. The sound overall is clean, and the feels range from silly ("Mexican Clam Dance") to soothing ("Monk Fish"). Did I mention all the titles relate to marine life? Gravelin shows his serious side on the exit: "North Atlantic" is a delicate, elegiac piano solo that leaves the formaggio behind.