Media Reviews & Comments
"You can call it Jazz-Plus"
Ric Flauding's newest, The Journey Collection
Since the release of his first album, Ric Flauding has been known as one of the most versatile guitar virtuosos in the jazz and pop recording arena. As a composer, arranger, and session artist, he worked with some of the biggest names in the business.
His twelve albums cover a lot of territory as well, from new age, worldbeat, and flamenco to smooth and contemporary jazz albums like Caleo, Jazz Passages, and Soundscape: South California, to a popular Christmas album and a pair of sacred music collections.
Now, with the release of his newest album, he has opened up another spectrum of contemporary jazz. Several of the numbers on the album (to be released in February 2017), including songs like “Mercy” and “Forgiven,” take us back to his early works. But now, brilliantly remastered and surrounded by newer pieces like “Moonlit,” “A New Hope” and a dynamic trio of Latin style compositions identified as “The Suite for Guitar,” Ric Flauding’s musical horizons have expanded once again.
To be specific, this is not your daddy’s jazz collection. There are no simplistic melodies, no bouncy tunes hinged to endless percussion loops, and no breezy ballads. As the album’s liner notes point out, The Journey Collection includes Latin, orchestral, and rock riffs, “constantly challenging the imagination and pushing musical boundaries in new and exciting ways.” (Read More)
— Music News Review: February 1, 2017
Ric Flauding: Press
— PRESS RELEASE: "The Journey Collection"
Accomplished musicians comprise WC adjunct faculty
By Crystal Brown
One of the best kept secrets in Weatherford is the level of talent residing in Weatherford College’s adjunct music faculty. Among this group of musicians are a world renowned pianist, an accomplished opera enthusiast, a chart-topping jazz composer and a classical guitarist working to expand the visibility of WC through establishing a world-reognized guitar competition. ....
In addition to encouragement and a creative atmosphere, jazz musician Ric Flauding’s philosophy is centered on teaching students to teach themselves.
“Learning to get a grade is one thing; learning because you have a great passion for something is another,” he said. “Truly, I love being at WC. It’s been a best-fit situation for me based on my teaching philosophies.”
Flauding began writing music and performing for recording studios in Los Angeles right out of high school. For the past three years he has instructed a variety of jazz courses, including improvisation, small instrumental ensemble, and theory.
His career highlights include an American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Award for film scoring, working with the London Symphony Orchestra, and the success of his own compositions charting on worldwide radio and being used in television shows. He recently completed an arrangement for the Plano Symphony Orchestra which will be performed in December.
Crystal Brown, "Hidden Talent: Accomplished musicians comprise WC adjunct faculty." Hilltop Magazine, Weatherford College, Fall 2016, pp. 3, 11.
Ric Flauding's New "Escape" Album
Sound and Style, Skillfully rendered and stylistically varied instrumentals
By Steve Morley
Often, collectors of meditative, atmospheric music must settle for the work of artists whose faith orientation is foggy, licentious and clearly not aligned with their own, as is the case with much "New Age" music, despite the quality it may contain. This is hardly the case with Ric Flauding, who puts his work in perspective in the CDs liner notes: "My goal has always been to (express) love for God, serenity and simplicity (and) to provide an escape from the everyday events that can prevent us from seeing the beauty around us." For most people, that would constitute a ministry.
Ric Flauding delivers on his promise of an aural excursion, with spaciously produced compositions featuring acoustic guitar flanked by flutes, saxophone and auxiliary textures both rhythmic and ethereal. His classical-influenced guitar style is clean and precise yet as free and emotive as that of a beret-topped troubadour. He alternately evokes the cinematic ("A Gentle Thunder," "Braw Bricht Moon"), the South American ("Brasilia," "San Juan") and the wistful on cuts such as the Celtic-influenced "My Love Awaits." On more ambitious pieces like "Above The Clouds" and "Rejoice" he mixes the above mediums, turning unexpectedly jazzy corners and uniting the exotically romantic with the celestial.
To his credit, the skilled guitarist doesn’t call undue attention to his six-string prowess, letting his songs be the canvas upon which he and his guest musicians paint soothing and evocative hues. The rising and falling soundscapes on Escape, despite their sedative tendencies, stop just short of the snooze-inducing nature of much "quiet time" music, often enchanting and occasionally invigorating the senses with imagination and finesse.
Steve Morley is a freelance music journalist. The full review was published at UMC.org.
“Consistently enjoyable work sparkles with Flauding’s beautiful arrangements…” — BILLBOARD Magazine
“Flauding’s albums of contemporary jazz reveals a genius…(Ric) plays guitar with controlled restraint. He is no show off: his music is so good he does not need to dazzle you with pyrotechnic playing.” — VICTORY MUSIC REVIEW
“Ric is as multi-dimensional an artist as you will find anywhere online. Perhaps best known for his complex and rhythmic jazz compositions Ric is equally as comfortable in settings that run the gamut from orchestral to acoustic finger style guitar. This artist has an amazing catalog of music available to the listener and just about anyone can find something to meet their needs on his page.
"If Jazz is what you seek, then Ric Flauding will surely deliver the goods. With contemporary arrangements featuring the acoustic guitar and built upon layer after layer of rich and harmonious sound Ric will leave you spellbound by his fluid mastery over the guitar. Without having to utilize the speed demon tactics of so many other guitarists Ric weaves intricate melodies throughout his work that is as clean and concise as any guitarist I have ever heard.
"Ric Flauding is the consummate musician's musician and an artist whose CDs would be a cherished addition to any collection of fine music. Don’t let the jazz title throw you. While he is as fine a Jazz artist as you find, his diversity runs much deeper and his other works should not be overlooked. Filled with passionate emotion this artist will carry you on musical journey after journey, on the wings of some the most beautiful guitar melodies you will ever hear.” — CMAP Music International
(CMAP voted Ric “Best Online Jazz Artist”).
“To a year filled with stellar acoustic albums, Flauding adds another smooth melodic gem…The result is truly joyous-a nearly perfect pop jazz collection.” — JAZZIZ Magazine Jonathan Widran
“Ric Flauding’s album “Love Was…”, continues to define Flauding as a major talent, a driving force toward a more accessible and meditative synthesis of jazz, new age and classic melodic communication...a very radio-friendly project.” — Cliff Gorov of "All That Jazz" (radio)
“Ric Flauding’s musical offerings are as rich and varied as the jazz spectrum itself-passion, power, creativity!” — The Breeze Radio Network
“The listener can thoroughly enjoy and hum along with the stellar melodies Flauding has crafted here.” — Contemporary Jazz Review
“With soaring melodies, rich harmonies, a wonderful arrangement, and many other beautiful, soothing elements, this piece hit’s the mark dead center. I’m left feeling enriched and enlightened, with a renewed sense of self. Like a friend of mine once said, “It’s therapy with notes.”
A nearly flawless nylon string adventure through rolling melodies and a mere chord solo like comp. I can especially appreciate the execution of the string and harp sections that open up the gateway to the meadowlands of flutes the guitar is well pronounced and lays the foundation for the rest of the piece. Very well done”. — About Ric Flauding's song, “Rejoice,” from the “Escape” CD.
“Make A Star” — About “Rejoice” from the “Escape” CD.
“There are some very interesting, very exciting sounds in this album by Ric Flauding. Flauding offers provocative music that would be suitable for dancing-or as nifty background theme music for motion pictures.” — Arizona Networking News
“Ric has a definite flair for melody!” — L.A. Jazz Scene
“Ric shows his skill…like a woodcarver might lovingly show off a favorite carving—with a sense of humility and a great big, ear-to-ear grin. He evokes moods bright and brassy in the title cut, to mellow and thoughtful…”Refuge” almost demands one’s undivided attention.” — Sara Highland, The New Times Music Review, Seattle
“Discover the genius of jazz guitarist Ric Flauding. The best kept secret in Christian music!” — RPI Records, Inc.
“If you play classical guitar, then you need this excellent book of Christmas solos. Each one of these solos is arranged for classical guitar by Richard G. Flauding. This is one of our best selling classical guitar books, and we highly recommend it.” — Guitar Spot Magazine: About Ric’s book of arrangements distributed by Hal Leonard and Columbia Pictures Publications.
“Some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz join with Ric to help paint “Jazz Portraits”. Ric, together with Eric Marienthal, Greg Vail, Russell Ferrante and others, render a colorful, instrumental landscape filled with soothing guitars, alto sax, keyboards, bass and percussion. “Jazz Portraits” is an excellent purchase for any soft-jazz lover and a must have for every Ric Flauding fan!” — RPI Records, Inc.
“Your home and your heart will be peaceful and relaxed as you listen to this outstanding collection of favorite Christmas songs…arranged and recorded in an easy and comfortable style. Ric Flauding, with his tender and sensitive touch on guitar , brings new life to some beloved carols” — RPI Records, Inc.
“SoundScape-South California” will transport you, mind - heart - and spirit - to those beautiful areas in California…not Southern California with its traffic congestion…but to South California, a place of picturesque beaches, colorful sunsets and peaceful, rural highways .Take a musical ride with the outstanding composer/guitarist Ric Flauding…escape with “SoundScape”…explore and experience the mood and melodies of South California.” — RPI Records, Inc.
Bands Who Use Studio Musicians On Their Albums
"In a recent interview in a French magazine, (Dave) Mustaine (Megadeth/Metallica) said he was not playing all guitar parts in his albums, but the ones that are too difficult to play, are made by other musicians.... On 'The System Has Failed,' some acoustic parts are played by Ric Flauding ....
The music was outstanding, it played a very important role in a very important series.” — About Ric Flauding's original music for the film, “For Safety’s Sake.” starring Gary Coleman, Ami Foster, Rance Howard and others. Ric won an award from the Film Advisory Board, Hollywood, California.
“What sets “Say It” apart from other Gospel recordings is Lewis’ powerful combination of punches. For example, songs like “One Step Of Faith” and “Drink Of Me” are supported with authentic string arrangements that computers and synthesizers could hardly rival. These songs could be the opening tracks to the Christian’s soundtrack of life…Don’t get us started on “Be Unto Thee” unless, in a word: “Oooooooooooooo!” - review regarding Kecia Lewis’ “Someone’s Gotta Say It”. Ric arranged & conducted the orchestra on this album. Kecia has appeared on Broadway and is on the television show “The Hughleys”. — Review of Kecia Lewis CD, "Someone's Gotta Say It"
“Ric’s guitar playing immediately caught my ear when I heard his CDs. He’s the real thing. Very tasteful playing. Very clean sounds. Very creative ideas. Ric’s playing would be a great addition to any ministry opportunity that calls for excellence and passion.” — Rory Noland, Arranger-Director, Willow Creek Church, South Barrington, Illinois
"Ric Flauding did some exceptional orchestration work for music I had composed by ear. He was able to “take down” the audio I provided and break out parts for use by a conventional orchestra. Because of his competency, attention to detail and deadline, I would highly recommend his services." — Fred Meggs, ABC Family Television & CBN Music Director & Composer
" For the amount of years I have both co-produced, collaborated and worked with Ric Flauding, I am constantly amazed at the consistently high level of musical excellence and creativity that comes forth from this talented and gifted musician, arranger and orchestrator. Ric continues to demonstrate to the music industry what the true art of arranging and orchestrating truly are" — Joey Arreguin: Producer, Love And Laughter Productions
"Ric, I am saving the best for last….your music has been premiered now in Vienna, Austria. and Gyor, Hungary……they absolutely LOVED your “O Holy Night.” The first concert took place in a beautiful Catholic church that was packed out... Congratulations for your music being so successful! I knew it would be." — Susan Korhonen, Soprano, regarding her European Concert Tour