Four Days In My Life
2016 / Louis Colaiannia
Review by Kathy Parsons
I’m very excited about pianist/composer/keyboardist Louis Colaiannia’s Four Days In My Life because most of the music on the album was composed during a four-day period when Louis was here in Florence, Oregon in June 2015. He did a house concert here during that time, but it sounds like most of the rest of his time was spent with his keyboard either on the beach or watching the ocean from his hotel room. The calming effect of being by the ocean is apparent in the music, which was recorded at Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studio and features a stellar line-up of musicians. Colaiannia has an extensive background in classical music as well as jazz, so his music is varied and distinctive. None of the ten pieces are solo piano this time, but all are original piano-based compositions and most include at least four additional instruments.
Four Days In My Life begins with a haunting piece Colaiannia composed to honor an unborn little girl who was murdered by a woman who wanted the baby for herself. The mother survived and named her lost child “Aurora.” “Aurora’s Light” reflects the tragedy of the event, but also the imagined radiance of the little girl who never had a chance at life. Both very sad and very hopeful, this is one of Colaiannia’s most poignant pieces to date. Colaiannia’s piano is accompanied by Eugene Friesen on cello, Charlie Bisharat on violin, Noah Wilding’s vocals, and Tom Eaton on bass. “By The Sea” begins as a heartfelt piano solo, gradually evolving into an ensemble piece for for piano, sax (Premik Russell Tubbs), bass, percussion (Jeff Haynes), wordless vocals, and Hammond organ (Eaton). Slow, dreamy, and very relaxed, it’s a favorite! Being by the ocean always seems to slow my mind down, and “Reflections” is a wonderful expression of that feeling. Piano and muted trumpet (Jeff Oster) are magical together! “Winter Rose Song” is a graceful duet for piano and cello, a combination I love! “Starry Night” is a beautiful smooth jazz piece for piano, violin, sax, percussion and NS bass. At just under eight minutes, it is very easy to let go of whatever is on your mind and get lost in the relaxing music. Bisharat and Tubbs are both incredible on this one! “Winter’s Fire” has a more exotic, mysterious sound, and features Jim Matus on laoutar, an instrument he invented that is a combination of a mandocello and a Greek laouto. “Moon Over Florence” is mostly a piano and sax duet with some electric guitar (Eaton) and NS bass (Tony Levin). Slow, romantic, and very beautiful, it brings the album to a very peaceful close.
Smooth, expressive and melodic, Four Days In My Life is Louis Colaiannia’s best album to date. It is available from Amazon.
October 11, 2016