Favorite Icon, Full size
Album Review: The Wind Pearl
John Adorney
Cover image of the album The Wind Pearl by John Adorney
The Wind Pearl
John Adorney
2015 / EverSound
50 minutes
Review by Michael Debbage
It has been 18 years since John Adorney released his impressive debut Beckoning back in 1998. Since then he has released a total of seven original recordings and has become one of New Age/Contemporary Instrumental’s most reliable and consistent artists. With a recording released nearly every 2 to 3 years, Adorney’s multi instrumental capabilities has always resulted in compelling results. So it was a little disconcerting that John was recording and releasing The Wind Pearl only one year after the impressive prior release The Wonder Well. But one listen will reveal that there is no dilution but in fact quite the opposite as The Wind Pearl is arguably his strongest recording to date.

Once again Adorney surrounds himself with a familiar cast including the occasional vocals of Daya and Marcel Adjibi, but ultimately it is Adorney and his strong songwriting whether it is performed on keyboards, guitar, cello, dulciborn or strumstick. Add the appearance of Kathy Adorney on violin and Shinn Jamison on oboe and English horn, his latest creation makes for a compelling varying soundtrack of instruments.

But the focus is once again on the strength of Adorney’s sturdy writing capabilities with The Wind Pearl opening with one of his highly impressive songs “Returning” that features a sublime melody. Add his delicate keyboard and Daya’s hauntingly light vocal embellishments during the bridge and you have all the ingredients that form another astonishing Adorney work of art. Adorney then follows this up with the more subdued title track with him featured on the guitar and cello while engaging with the oboe performance of Shinn Jamison. You are now queued up for another stellar recording from Adorney. But if you want more memorable mesmerizing melodies then skip forward to “Another Beautiful World” or the closing track for the more reflective “Between The Stars”

As previously mentioned Adorney is one of the genres most consistent and reliable artists but he also takes risks as he spreads his creative wings. Turn up the volume somewhat to really appreciate the more rhythmic and electronic driven title “This Wonderful Game”. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea but it is great to hear Adorney being adventurous. Similar results can be found on “Endless Caravan” or for that matter the worldly themes found on the offbeat reggae tinged “The Lily And The Bee”.

Needless to say The Wind Pearl has the best of both worlds and conjures up his worldly themes and integrates them with his magical reflective melodies that have made John Adorney a hugely underrated artist closing in on two decades. That said, if you have missed the boat on this artist then considering that The Wind Pearl essentially represents one of John Adorney’s finest recordings to date this would be a great time to get on board.
March 27, 2016
This review has been tagged as:
Guitar musicMichael's Favorites: 2015
More reviews of John Adorney albums
Cover image of the album The Fountain by John Adorney
2009
Review by Michael Debbage
Michael's Favorites: 2009
Cover image of the album The Fire in the Flint by John Adorney
2012
Review by Michael Debbage
Michael's Favorites: 2012