2017 / Lauren Jones
Review by Kathy Parsons
Nightfall is the debut album from Pennsylvania pianist/composer Lauren Jones. The album was produced by Greg Maroney and recorded live at his Harmony Grove Studio on his wonderful Steinway grand piano. Jones is a very expressive pianist and this EP consists of six of her original piano solos, each with a one-word title. The pieces range from very quiet and dreamy to more powerful and energetic, telling their stories and introducing us to a bright new pianist on the rise. I wasn’t able to find any information about Lauren Jones or her background, so that will come at a later time.
Nightfall begins with “Flux,” one of the more dynamic pieces on the album. Much of the left hand is rolling broken chords under a fairly simple melody on the right hand. Several themes are intertwined during the course of the piece, creating a fascinating opening composition. “Desire” is much lighter and more lyrical. It is in constant motion, never pausing until the end. “Nightfall” is my favorite piece on the album. It begins calmly with a feeling of reflection and winding down, gradually taking on a more mysterious cast. About mid-way through the piece, it becomes much bigger and more turbulent with rolling chords on one hand and a dark and powerful melody that alternates between the deep bass of the piano and the higher end. The more tranquil closing theme is played in the upper registers of the piano and then gradually fades out. The big and emotionally powerful “Desolation” reminds me a bit of Michele McLaughlin’s more tempestuous music. “Vanishing” is dramatic and passionate, but in a different way. More poignant and possibly expressing grief and great loss, the piece is cathartic, but is not without hope. “Dream” is a bit like a watercolor painting in that it suggests images rather than clearly defining them - much like images that appear in dreams. Peaceful and hypnotic, it’s a lovely way to end this very promising album.
I look forward to more music from Lauren Jones in the near-future! Nightfall is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!
June 27, 2017