ReMix: Tales of Phantasia "Sweet Dreams" 3:16

By Anthony Lofton, Dhsu

Artist Links
collab duet jazz piano saxophone
Arranging the music of one song...

"The Dream Will Not Die"

Primary Game: Tales of Phantasia (Namco, 1994, SNES), music by Motoi Sakuraba, Ryota Furuya, Shinji Tamura, Toshiyuki Sekiguchi

Posted 2009-03-08, evaluated by djpretzel


Dhsu writes:

"This track is pretty much the reason I joined the Summoning of Spirits project. "The Dream Will Not Die" was not on the initial project tracklist, and I just couldn't accept the idea of it not being on the project...it's practically the Tales of Phantasia theme song after all. And nobody else was arranging it though, so it was pretty much up to me. :)

Originally, the arrangement was going to be a piano/voice duet with me and pixietricks, but by the time I finished my accompaniment, she was involved with other projects and wasn't available. So I asked Anthony Lofton (of The OneUps) to fill in for her with his sweet sax skillz, and the result was better than I could have imagined. Major thanks to both him and Mustin (who did the production) for helping me out when I was in a pinch. Hope you enjoy it!"

While a vocal piece would have been cool, the combination of Mr. Lofton's sax and Mr. Hsu's ivories makes this piece truly unique on OC ReMix. We've got smooth jazz, we've got solo piano pieces, and we've got pieces with real, honest-to-goodness saxophones in them, but this is a straight-up duet, with ONLY sax and piano, and it's fantastic.

I'd like to take a moment to go out on a limb and make an observation: I think most of our listeners are very open-minded, and that's what I love about running this site, but I think if we told many people this was a Kenny G original, they might be dismissive. Yeah, I know that's soprano sax, and this sounds like alto to me (?), but my point is more that when it's NOT in the context of VGM arrangements, genres like instrumental smooth/ballad jazz probably aren't at the top of most of our lists. And yet, in this context, they become more accessible. Personally, I can't say I listen to these genres regularly, but I've always at least respected Mr. G and others like him, and always felt that jazz was a large enough umbrella to allow for intricate, challenging ass-kickingly complex work as well as what's sometimes referred to as "easy listening". I've always had some problems with that label, as well, since the only thing it conveys is a supposed reduced difficulty level... honestly, the arrangement David and Anthony have collaborated on here requires more listening attention to pick up on all the details than, say, a run-of-the-mill trance or happy hardcore track. I suppose it's less about "easy" being related to difficulty, and more about it just being pleasing music that's relaxing, chill, and velvety smooth.

In which case, this is some damn fine easy listening. Smoother than Godiva, softer than the proverbial baby's butt, glossier than soft pron from the late 70s, silkier than 1500 TC Egyptian sheets, and easier than Paris Hilton, you can see why this was the idea that sold Dhsu on contributing. Moreso than his collab with Juan, where it was really an initial idea that was further developed by another artist, this is a full-on Dhsu ReMix, and Lofton seals the deal with a spot-on performance. Dynamics, tempo, and tone are all superb & resonant for each instrument, but - more importantly - between the two as well. At 3'16", it's over too soon, but that's definitely enough time to enjoy the mellow vibe these guys have laid down. SF4 has a "Chillaxin'" title, which may seem trite by now, but it would apply 110% to this mix, and if you're looking for some wooing music for the right occasion this year, or Valentine's Day next year, this is your track. It's unique on the album and on OCR, and I'd love to see more like it. Check it out, and check out Summoning of Spirits for more great music.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Black_Doom
on 2015-12-16 14:03:03

Sometimes simplicity is the key to the perfection - this mix is just a blend of sax piano only, but just listen to it and realise how gorgeous it is! Not much else to say, actually. Just incredible! Also gotta agree with Rozo about this song and Joren's Simian Soirée being a perfect combo :)

Rozovian
on 2013-01-05 12:36:29

Was listening to a playlist with all of ocr on it, and this one came up after Joren's Simian Soirée on the DKC2 album. Perfect combo. :D

Bahamut
on 2010-01-14 20:07:59

This is a pretty nice soothing song, but there was one thing that bothered me at the very end - that is a weird sequence to end the song.

Other than that, pretty good job here! I love hearing Lofton play, as he tends to do a great job.

Emunator
on 2009-10-03 23:38:17

Dhsu and Anthony's styles really mesh well together in this song. It's a pretty straightforward duet, with the emphasis on "pretty!" This song really is beautifully played, and since I'm actually a fan of the smooth jazz genre to start with, this ended up being one of my favorites from Summoning of Spirits.

Marmiduke
on 2009-09-11 07:29:51

Sexiness done in the classiest of ways. A deliciously palatable serving of jazz that I'd bet anyone could enjoy. This sort of music, and particularly with this mix, tends to be time-stopping and consumes the moment you're in. I will say though that the piano, while always lovely at the hands of Dhsu, doesn't relay the feeling of a dim and smoke-filled downtown jazz lounge as the smooth sax playing reaches to convey. That's obviously noone's fault if that was never the intention of the mix in the first place, but for me, the piano was the obstacle in the way of me reaching that imagery.

Besides that small blip, it's just as good as what you'd expect from a comradery of two instrumental specialists getting their sweet jazz on. And hopefully a sign of the quality of future jazz submissions.

DragonAvenger
on 2009-09-04 19:20:05

I'm going to start with the gripes, then go to the good. I'm feeling the smooth jazz in the sax, but I can't say the piano really gives off that vibe. I would ahve liked the piano to throw in a few more chords to seal the deal. That and I felt like the sax was going to jump into a Christmas song at one point (don't ask me why, I'm just weird like that).

Ok, the good. This is real smooth. Very sexy, and the flow is awesome. Did I mention how smooth this is? Both artists work very well together, and overall I'm loving how this transforms the original. Dshu needs to write duets like this more, because he definately has a good talent for it.

Nice work!

Mtlbro
on 2009-04-11 16:26:17

I love this arrangement Dhsu. Piano just the right volume to let the solo shine. Perfect climax near the end. I know when the song is ending, also way too short imho.

jintoreedwine
on 2009-03-27 22:23:12

Beautiful mix guys! With Dhsu on the ivories and Another on sax I suspected this was a real winner even before I heard it.

There is nothing quite like real life instruments and you guys play your respective instruments fantastically.

OA
on 2009-03-16 10:45:48

Beautiful stuff- I agree with the consensus of a touch more piano, but overall this is pro.

Excellent performances. Highly recommended.

Harmony
on 2009-03-13 18:06:25

Ohh, I was just about to get up from my desk and head home from work but this song came up in winamp and I'm transfixed. Gotta sit back down and let this one ride out :) A sax this sexy and a piano that smooth are the only things that could keep me at work any longer than necessary on a Friday afternoon.

I wonder if the piano is a little too quiet (or the sax too loud), but beyond that, I'm just loving this. It also serves as a reminder how expressive real sax is.
Agreed on both counts. I wish the piano owned a little more sonic ground in the mix. I'd love it if it were both louder and wider, but that's a minor gripe. And yeah, Anthony's performance makes me want to give up my dreams of having enough money to buy some decent solo sax/trumpet samples. I'd be much better served using that money to buy a sax and learning to play it...or just using the money to hire Anthony.

Nice work guys!

Inferno
on 2009-03-10 16:10:35

I. Love. This. Song.

I hope to hear more from you guys.

Rozovian
on 2009-03-10 09:39:14

Sweet stuff indeed. :D

I wonder if the piano is a little too quiet (or the sax too loud), but beyond that, I'm just loving this. It also serves as a reminder how expressive real sax is. Nice and calming feel throughout, definitely going on my calm stuff playlists.

evktalo
on 2009-03-09 08:25:51

I thought djpretzel's writeup was spot on. I don't care much at all for smooth jazz, but OCR has been an alarmingly taste-widening experience for me. I don't get how this context makes it easier to receive the music behind the style, if you know what I mean. Exceptional work.

--Eino

KyleJCrb
on 2009-03-08 16:42:49

I love this. I will agree with Dave that it's very chill and relaxing, and having Anthony Lofton involved with SoS was quite a treat. Nice work, dudes!

42
on 2009-03-08 16:30:35

A wonderful treat for the ears.

This is just proof that sometimes simplest is best.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Tales of Phantasia (Namco, 1994, SNES)
Music by Motoi Sakuraba, Ryota Furuya, Shinji Tamura, Toshiyuki Sekiguchi
Songs:
"The Dream Will Not Die"

Tags (5)


Genre:
Jazz
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Piano, Saxophone
Additional:
Arrangement > Duet
Origin > Collaboration

File Information


Name:
Tales_of_Phantasia_Sweet_Dreams_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
4,804,281 bytes
MD5:
4f69cf57785f2d078f2f7c01c7595363
Bitrate:
192Kbps
Duration:
3:16

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