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What's new: 'Faith, Family and Friends' is a gentle gift of music

By Miranda H. Lotz

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5 2014 5:00 a.m. MST

"Faith, Family and Friends" is by Craig Larson.

Provided by Jake Featherstone

"FAITH, FAMILY AND FRIENDS," by Craig Larson, featuring 6 Miles Ahead, $12.97

Craig Larson and 6 Miles Ahead have teamed up to create a new CD, “Faith, Family and Friends,” featuring creamy harmonies perfect for a quiet Sunday afternoon.

Before Larson’s father passed away, he reminded his son, “It’s all about faith, family and friends. Measure the importance of everything you do by it’s effect on those three things.” Taking that counsel to heart, Larson created this album.

The CD is an amalgamation of hymn arrangements and original compositions, a cappella vocal quintets, vocal solos by Keith Evans and Camille Smith, as well as piano solos. The variety within the album makes it one that can be played through start to finish without the listener tiring of the sound of the performers. Although varied in content, the album overall has a sweet timbre of peace and reflection. The music is directed toward members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the album is appropriate for all audiences.

Standing out on the album is “Quiet Grove,” a solo by Camille Smith accompanied by 6 Miles Ahead’s remarkable blend.

With a definite throwback feel, the album has clear ties to jazz and mid-20th century love songs. Its greatest strength is the restraint of the musicians. In an era when everything seems to be yelled in an effort to be heard, it’s remarkable to find an album where the performers yield their egos, and their volume, to the greater beauty and message of the music.

Mixed to sound like the performers are singing around the piano after supper rather than in a concert hall with lots of reverberation, “Faith, Family and Friends” is a gentle gift of music celebrating the three most important things in life.

Larson has also recently released a jazz CD titled "East of the Sun: The Best of the Craig Larson Trio and Friends."

Miranda H. Lotz is a military wife, mother of five,and book lover, who currently lives in Colorado Springs.

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