Sounds From the Wishing Well
is a stunning debut from pianist/composer Patrick Gorman. Produced by Will Ackerman, the sound quality is flawless and the 9’ Steinway used in the recording has a rich, full-bodied resonance. A self-taught pianist who had not listened to the likes of George Winston or the other major artists of this genre, Gorman’s musical background is that of a drummer. Interesting, no? Gorman’s music has an elegant fluidity and a great range of expressive emotional depth. Ackerman says of the recording session (yes, it was recorded in one session!), “It was one of the most remarkable performances I have had the pleasure to witness.” Heady praise from the founder of Windham Hill Records, a label widely known for the impeccable quality of its recordings (and artists) while Ackerman was at the helm. This is, indeed, an exceptional album.
”Bella” begins the CD with a reflective yet energetic piece that is a bit on the dark side. An interesting array of musical textures and themes are interwoven, creating a beautiful montage. “Give Up the Ghost” is much more delicate and fragile - I love it! “Citrus” picks up the pace considerably. Its infectious rhythm and Gorman’s nimble fingers create a bright sparkling piece that swirls and dances. “Ramah By Moonlight” is one of several pieces that have a Middle-Eastern influence. Dark and very leisurely in its pace, this piece is sensual and evocative. As its title implies, “Prism Bell” has a free rhythm and a sparkling quality that is both gorgeous and as soothing as watching light bounce off a prism. “Arabian Moonrise” is my favorite on this album. Mysterious, sultry, and even a little playful, this one grabs me every time. “Shadowgirl” also has a feeling of mystery, but also of searching - fascinating. The closing track, “Sleep Dance,” sounds like a free-form improvisation that works really well and holds together with repeated listenings.
Sounds From The Wishing is an exciting debut, and I hope the first of many recordings from Patrick Gorman. Complex, yet very accessible, I highly recommend this album. It is available from patgorman.com