Peter Janson

Peter Janson - CD Reviews

New Age Voice

Peter Janson has a very introspective, sensitive, gently accommodating touch on the acoustic guitar. This album is entirely solo guitar, with the exception of two tracks:[one] where he gets some help from an upright bass and percussion, and another where there are wave sounds. So how does he carry it off with just this one instrument? Beautifully. As you listen, you can hear how his inspirations color his compositions. With nothing more than a guitar, he can call to mind the moonlight over the ocean, the longing of Cupid and Psyche, or the sound of the rain. In other compositions, he reflects on his mother's passing, the nature of change and growth, and the strange ways of the world from the little mysteries to the big ones. Janson's guitar playing is marvelous for its lyrical beauty, tenderly exploring a variety of musical themes and ideas, all without words, all in a way that allows the listener to plug in where they want and enjoy the loose-limbed feel of the journey that invites playful spirits in.
- Dan Liss

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Spirit of Change magazine

With Across the Bridge, Peter Janson became a favorite with adult contemporary and New Age listeners as well as easily finding acceptance with main-stream fans of acoustic instrumental music. Sometimes From Here follows with the same vivid artistry and emotion blended with spirituality, bringing a new kind of immediacy revealing the growth of an artist as a result of tragedy and loss. Although he has been moved by such diverse instrumentalists as Chet Atkins, Django Reinhardt, Les Paul and Andres Segovia, situations in his personal life have given Peter a subtly evocative artistry that is his alone.

Introduced to an impressive variety of musical talent at an early age, including the solo guitar playing of his father, Peter says, "I'm sure I've inherited my love of eclecticism from him, and I hope I make people enjoy guitar music as he did." The idea that his hope is fulfilled seems supported by these lines from "Acoustic Guitar" magazine: "... subtle and expressive, he imbues every note with meaning and nuance, possessing luscious tone and elegant compositional ideas." Spirit of Change finds this CD elegantly entertaining, magnificently representing finger-style guitar playing at its best. It is a disc to enjoy again and again. A rare 10+!
- Ming Yuan

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Wind & Wire magazine

Acoustic guitarist Peter Janson, whose previous recording, Across the Bridge, was a total delight, is back with another collection of both somber and warm guitar instrumentals. This time he is accompanied on two cuts: by a bassist (Christian Fabian), a percussionist (Bertram Lehmann) and a synthesist (Steve Hunt playing what is referred to as "wave textures"). However, for all intents and purposes, the overwhelming majority of Sometimes From Here is still just Peter on his acoustic guitar, spinning more low-key tone poems that invite reflection on a grey afternoon or provide perfect accompaniment to dinner with friends or a loved one.

Beginning with the wistful "The Ocean Under the Moon," the album is off to an excellent start. The song has a "circular" feel to it, as notes seem to revolve in a flowing manner. "Still Towards Psyche" is the cut which utilizes subtle underlying synths. And I do mean subtle. The keyboards add just the right amount of drama without being either distracting or overblown. The number is a sober and even sad-sounding one, tinged with regret and/or longing.

As on his previous album, there are no weak cuts, no dead-spots, and no deficiencies of either a compositional or engineering nature. Sometimes From Here is a splendid treat for lovers of unadorned acoustic music, and fans of artists like Alex De Grassi, Will Ackerman and Tim Farrell should embrace this recording with open arms. In addition there are well-written and poignant liner notes from Peter, detailing each song, as well as some gorgeous photographs and watercolors from Bernadette Levasseur. The watercolors, in particular, are highly evocative of the plaintive mood of most of the music.

Songs like the sorrowful (yet, at times hopeful) "How Can It Be," (dedicated to Peter's mother who passed away last year), the ensemble cut "Between the Sky and Sea” (featuring a loping tempo and graced by excellent hand percussion and upright bass work by the musicians named above), and the upbeat friendly title cut, showcase Peter's strengths both as a guitarist (he has amazing control of subtlety in the midst of technique) and as a composer (a rich warm melodicism runs through the whole CD even on the more minimal-style songs). There should be (and is, to my ears) more than enough variety between pieces on the album that interest is not just sustained but even piqued for even jaded listeners.

Sometimes From Here confirms my belief (held when I heard his debut recording) that Peter Janson is one of the best acoustic guitarists recording today. Combining excellent composing skills, keen playing technique, and a true "artist's soul," he is a bright light on the musical horizon. Highly recommended for acoustic music fans everywhere

-Bill Binkelman

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