is the debut CD by pianist Ophelia, and a wonderful beginning it is! Passionate, with inspiration coming from a wide variety of sources, the music ranges from gentle melodies to big sweeping scores. With very impressive piano chops to bring her music to life, there are no holds barred in Ophelia’s playing. My only complaint about this CD is very extensive use of synth strings, which is a major pet peeve of mine. I understand budgetary constraints, but 99% of the time, synth strings sound phony and, to me, they detract from the beauty of the music. If the string parts aren’t terribly difficult (and they usually are not), why not hire a couple of top string players from the local high school or college? Perhaps this is unrealistic, but it bears checking out. End of tirade!
Ophelia very skillfully blurs the lines between jazz, pop, and classical styles, creating a musical vision that is uniquely her own. Using percussion as well as synth strings, she incorporates various ethnic rhythms - eclectic, indeed! From the delicate “Rose Petal” to the almost militaristic “Sunflowers”, this lady can do it all - and well! There are no weak tracks on this CD, but a few stand-outs are “April Storm
”, “Of Heart”, “Ice Rain”, and “Ocean”. This is an excellent CD, and is available from Ophelia’s website at ohklecticrecords.com