CENTRAL & MOUNTAIN/
"Mary Edwards' new album shines with the quality and influence of a super-cool pop era: There's that cinematic touch of Francis Lai, that great Pacific Coast Highway vibe of Burt Bacharach, the poetic longing and lilt of the Carpenters and that hip urgency of a Lalo Schifrin TV theme for a Quinn Martin Production."
"The opening track, Time and I just sweeps you away to a luscious stoned soul picnic where echoes of The Fifth Dimension and Swing Out Sister drown out all the noise of the surrounding madworld and set the tone for the rest of the addictive playlist..."
"...Unfairly, hardly anyone raves about a guy named Hal David (and the job he did) in proportion to his more famous work partner, but a listen to Mary Edwards will prove that she has both Burt's and Hal's respective missions taken care of in her music."
Brent Cash, Composer/Singer/Songwriter, HOW STRANGE IT SEEMS
"This latest release is replete with lush musical architecture; gorgeously crafted soft edges and curves, and lyrics that take your soul to places you've always wanted it to visit...the album flows effortlessly, like the tides, leaving something for you discover after each track has receded. Disarmingly beautiful, soulful, pure, honest, unpretentious, bearing as well all the hallmarks of a true 'classic'."
Julio Razquin, WOOL.FM
"Mary Edwards creates music which inspires you to dream and escape as she uses her talent of cinematic songwriting and soothing vocal ability to create a heavenly atmosphere of sound. This composer, arranger, producer and singer draws inspiration from 60's film scores, classic pop and artist such as Burt Bacharach or The 5th Dimension. Her knack for drawing upon the lighter side of emotions through music to brighten your day is evident upon the first listen as her sound creates visions of happiness. Turn on Eastern/Central & Mountain/Pacific and step into the sunshine which is the music of Mary Edwards."
Collectors Item: Music, Art & Life
Composer and singer/songwriter Mary Edwards, if not geographically, is bicoastal of the heart and mind. The
native New Yorker recalls her many visits to the coast of California, where each trip was like revisiting a Ray Conniff album cover, where panoramic locations of film sets for Steve McQueen's high-speed chases gave way to high-profile romantic screen kisses, where a tuxedoed Herb Alpert dashed across Malibu Beach, horn in hand, towards the soundstage to ultimately lay down that taste of honeyed brass in a session at the legendary A&M Studios on LaBrea. In contrast, her own city of multi-sensory chasms would embrace any Angeleno or San Franciscan who willingly swapped their white henley for a Dior trenchcoat and endless Summer sunshine for perpetual neon lights as they made their way towards The Brill Building.
The east-and west coasts are symbiotic, and like a Bachelardesque observation where one can feel simultaneously big and small in the grand or intimate scheme of things, there is a vastness in both the concrete canyons of NYC and the Paramount Pictures-invoking mountain views on Route 101. And they co-exist in a daydream.
Mary Edwards grew up on Staten Island, a pastoral borough of New York City, and vividly remembers, as a child, Sunday driving expeditions with her parents and siblings, down the boulevard and through the hills, where the car radio played as varied a selection to the moving images through the car window. Transfixed by the melodies and lulled by the dreamy synchronization of nature with musical landscape of the Pop Contempo Soundcompliments of Bacharach & David, The Fifth Dimension, the Carpenters, Jimmy Webb and Paul Williamsshe discovered how they touched upon every emotion with just the right combination of playfulness and drama. Mary captured stills in her mind, recreating moods of the ever-changing terrain on the family's Hammond organ later in the day. Playing familiar songs from memory juxtaposed her own pieces that strode the boundaries of harmony and dissonance.
Television, too, was a portal to her senses. The living color aspect extended to the way she heard incidental arrangements, opening up the possibility that a well-crafted tune could become a soundtrack to one's imagination. If you are of a certain age, or a television (history) afficianado, you will know or remember the famous spoken epilogue that crowned some of the dramatic jewels of '60s/'70s programming like The Streets of San Francisco and Barnaby Jones: "...This has been a Quinn Martin Production..." Mary admits she was too young to embrace the intricacies of the series' plot, "Although," she expresses, "I noticed the music bed which accompanied the title sequences brought with it a fantastical panorama of colors, sounds and scenarios of near-epic proportions. Sometimes they were tamed by muted tones and meditative desires for a warm simplicity sought in quiet corners...and they enveloped me like the very blanket I was swaddled beneath, cozily ensconced in the living room while watching these shows with my sister and brothers."
Filled with major sevenths and the sound of the ocean, Eastern/Central & Mountain/Pacific not only takes the listener coast-to-coast, from eastern shores, to the 49-Mile Drive of S.F., down through The Sandpiper territory of Big Sur and toward Malibu via Laurel Canyon, but also into the 1960s- and '70s TV and movie theme world, albeit with an introspective subtlety. It evokes Ennio Morricone conducting the wordless vocals of Edda Dell'Orso for an Italian sleeper. It rouses the spirit of West Coast Jazz as interpreted by Michel Legrand. It brings to mind lost adverts of The Ron Hicklin Singers and the gentle, miniature symphonies of Joe Raposo. "My music is mostly about longing for something that is no longer there and only exists in memory." Mary continues, "It is also about contemplating that exquisite state of 'in- between' before breaking boldly into the present tense. Much like the romantic protagonist of a movie, it's engaging in a radical act of letting go of the past while simultaneously exploring along the way. The question of what is missing from an idealized past gradually fades to the conclusion of basking in the light of the moment."
Feel the glow...