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Star Eyes

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Customer Reviews

Review except from Music and Media Focus

Fans of this LA-based pianist, arranger, composer, singer, and vocal coach have been looking forward to this new CD for a while, and I’m sure that upon hearing it they will agree that it has been worth the wait. While John is also an award-winning vocalist, “Star Eyes” is a collection of instrumental compositions. The piano is the primary brush he paints his portraits in sound with, although he often uses subtle synthesizer strings, pads, and washes of sound to enhance the atmosphere of the piece and add to it’s relaxing effect. I cannot emphasize enough how tasteful his use of electronic sounds is. They never overshadow the piano and gently support it like air currents buoying aloft a soaring bird in flight.

It’s interesting to see an artist with such a deep foundation in other styles such as R&B and gospel stretching his wings into a genre as divergent as new age instrumental music. However, after listening, it would be easy to assume that this has been his primary artistic expression for a very long time. I have no doubt that fans of artists such as George Winston, Liz Story, or David Lanz would greatly enjoy the virtuoso piano playing and evocative compositional craftsmanship of John Fluker, and would find “Star Eyes” another “must have” album to add to their collections.

From MainlyPiano

"Star Eyes" is an incredible follow-up to John Fluker’s award-winning debut, "The Sound of Peace" (2006). The twelve original tracks are a combination of piano with orchestration and solo piano, and all convey a sense of serenity and calm without becoming ear-candy. Passionate, articulate and highly-skilled at the piano, Fluker once again demonstrates why he was awarded the 2006 NAR Lifestyle Music Award for Best New Artist. Currently Gladys Knight’s musical director, Fluker started studying the piano at the age of eight and graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. He has toured internationally as a pianist and vocalist and has performed with a long list of musicians and singers in a broad range of genres. This varied background gives Fluker an amazing color palette to work with, and I have to say that each piece on this album is a gem unto itself. I predict he’ll be taking home quite a few awards with this album, too!

"Star Eyes" begins with “Evening Prelude,” a 45-second opening that sets the mood and perks up the ears for something very special. “Star Eyes (Part One)” has a very haunting and passionate piano melody that flows effortlessly as the strings add washes of background color. Gorgeous! The piano on “Anytime” has a light, dancing feeling with strings and atmospheric sounds behind it. There are two versions of “After the Fall,” a beautiful ballad with a slightly bittersweet flavor. The first version has string accompaniment, and the version that closes the album is mostly solo piano. The only thing I don’t like about the last one is that it means the album is about over. “When Love Lost” is as poignant as its title suggests. There is just a hint of string accompaniment on this one, so the piano really has a chance to sing its song of heartbreak. Love it! “A Long Way Home” is a gentle, bittersweet solo piano ballad that overflows with longing. “Star Eyes (Part 2)” brings the strings closer to the forefront than Part 1 does, but this is still very much a piano piece. Two versions of such a moving and beautiful piece are very welcome. “Night Prelude” is a solo piano lead-in to what I think is the crowning achievement of the album, the stunning “Once Upon a Night.” It picks up the theme of the Prelude and develops it to perfection over 7 1/2 minutes. I listen to a tremendous amount of music, but occasionally something will grab me every time, and “Once Upon a Night” is one of those pieces. It is just Fluker and his piano on this one, and the passions and emotional depth are breathtaking. (Hey John, are you doing sheet music for this one???)

If you aren’t yet familiar with John Fluker, do your ears and your soul a favor and discover this exceptional artist. Those who familiar with his previous albums are going to be thrilled with this one. Guaranteed to be one of my favorites of 2011! Very highly recommended!

Star Eyes a beautiful album

Haunting melodies. A feast for the soul!

Biography

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active:

Singer and keyboard player John Fluker was born and raised in Lansing, MI. He began taking piano lessons at eight and first encountered vocal music with his church choir. He attended the University of Michigan, graduating with a B.A. in music theory. After college, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked in churches and as a vocal coach. (Eventually, his clients included Jennifer Lopez.) He began finding work as a backup musician to touring acts starting with the Diamonds, and he started to get...
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Star Eyes, John Fluker
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