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Album Review: Piano Solos
Laura Sullivan
Cover image of the album Piano Solos by Laura Sullivan
Piano Solos
Laura Sullivan
2003 / Sentient Spirit Records
48 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The unassumingly titled Piano Solos by Laura Sullivan is an interesting collection of seven original pieces, three pieces by Roy Finch, and “Claire de Lune” by Debussy. A strong and passionate pianist, Sullivan brings a distinctive new voice to contemporary piano. Her previous two releases were collections of cover tunes for weddings and “special requests” from the standards repertoire, and I would hope that she’ll continue to record her original work. In her promotional material, she makes the following statement about her music: “Mine is a softer, feminine kin to styles played by Will Ackerman, George Winston, and David Lanz.” This seems like kind of an odd statement, and I don’t find it to be particularly true. Her style is much different from all three of the other artists, and I wouldn’t compare it to any of them.

Sullivan’s original pieces include “Dreaming Underwater,” a very nice flowing and rippling piece with a quiet mood; “Lullaby Wind,” which is also quiet and serene - my favorite track on this album; and “Calls to Spirit,” which is more upbeat and has a “bigger” sound. I also like ”Of Land and Sea, Of Mortal and Divine,” a flowing piece with classical and contemporary influences. Both wistful and with a sense of purpose, this piece is quite effective. I also really like Finch’s “Selling Water By the River,” which has an interesting rhythm and a nice, easy feel. His “Sleepwalking (On a Tightrope)” and “In Last Hours” are very dark and moody, and their forms are more abstract. Sullivan does a lovely job with “Claire de Lune,” although I kept wondering why it was included in a collection where all of the other pieces are so different from it.

So, if you’re looking for something kind of different, this could be a good choice. Even the cover art is a bit quirky. Piano Solos is available from laura-sullivan.com and cdbaby.com.
June 29, 2003
This review has been tagged as:
Debut Albums
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