Near The Edge of Light
was Isadar’s debut recording and dates back to 1990. One of several solo piano projects over the years, this one was recorded on a 9’ Baldwin concert grand. Isadar is also a prolific songwriter and has recorded a few electronic albums, so Near The Edge of Light
is fascinating in that it shows where his music began. Oh, and the music is really good, too! I thought it was surprising that some of the pieces remind me a bit of David Nevue’s early work, possibly because both pianists were strongly influenced by Windham Hill artists around that time and developed their own distinctive voices as they matured as artists. There are sound-effects behind a few of the tracks, but this is otherwise a solo acoustic piano album of original works except for “Star of Wonder,” which is Isadar’s arrangement of “We Three Kings.” Even though it was his first album, Near the Edge of Light contains a lot of Isadar’s signature touches in both his instrumental and vocal compositions.
The CD begins with “Jealous Heart,” a piece with a strong melody and a very reflective quality that sounds like working out an emotional dilemma at the piano - a lovely start. “October Dusk” is a bit more atmospheric - a warm, swirling breeze on an early-autumn evening. I like the energy of this piece a lot. “Cool Breeze” has a similar energy, but as the title implies, the temperature drops significantly. “Highway Driving” opens with the sound of traffic noise - no horns, just cars speeding by. Somewhat edgier than the previous tracks, it conveys a sense of freedom and the fun of getting out on the open road. “Star of Wonder” is pitch black at the beginning with deep bass notes and sparkling chimes to break through the darkness. Isadar’s arrangement of “We Three Kings” is mysterious and agitated - I really like it! The title track is a little more jazz-tinged with its fascinating rhythms and spontaneous feeling. “Summer Nights” is another favorite, alternating between velvety smoothness and a more percussive touch. “April Showers” is delicate and free over the sound of rain. “Maneuvers” is my favorite track. One theme is melancholy and introspective and alternates with a bigger, more dramatic second theme - a great piece!
Near the Edge of Light is available for download from isadar.com
and iTunes.com. Recommended!