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Mark Isham's enduring 1983 solo debut captures his graduation from gifted trumpeter with groups like Rubisa Patrol, Group 87, and, most visibly, Van Morrison, to composer with a more versatile and ambitious body of work. On Vapor Drawings, Isham's trumpet and flugelhorn are augmented by synthesizers, piano, soprano sax, and electronic percussion in a series of layered, atmospheric tone poems that nod to Philip Glass and Steve Reich, as well as to European classicism and Eastern modalities. Deemed a new age record as much for its label home as for any intrinsic musical elements, this music is cinematic in scale and drama, especially on its best-known track, the majestic"On the Threshold of Liberty," which anticipated Isham's prolific output as a major film composer in the intervening years. --Sam Sutherland
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Mr. Isham has provided the soundtracks and backgrounds for many major films and, evidently, at least two eras of human experience.
It's definitely worth a listen, and segments of this are guaranteed to stay in your library for years to come.
Listen to these tracks in cassette tape, and for about 15 years I did not play them. I recently purchased the Cd, used, and sadly the old joy isn't there anymore. I actually find the tracks boring, flavorless and irrelevant. I still have a great respect for this great artist, but there are certainly better samples of his talent than this release.