I really liked ade ishs’ debut album, Visions
, but New Butterfly
has me saying, “Wow!” even after five or six listens. ishs is an Indonesian-born artist who is now living in Melbourne, Australia. He has studied classical music and jazz from early childhood through his doctorate in music information retrieval, and has performed with a variety of bands and singers over the years. Although his classical roots are readily apparent, New Butterfly
has a strong jazz influence and the feeling of a spontaneous, heartfelt conversation. The blending of colorful, powerful expression and a commanding piano technique can produce stellar results, and this is a great example. Equally at ease with bigger, more dramatic music and quiet meditations, ishs should be turning a lot of heads with this album.
begins with “Little Butterfly,” a gentle, graceful piece that beautifully describes the movement of one of nature’s most delicate creatures. “Jakarta At Night 3” is cool and refreshing with a mood of peaceful contentment. “When the Sun Sets 1” has a hushed and leisurely style for the first two minutes or so, and then becomes more lively and dynamic, alternating with the quieter themes as the piece evolves over the course of a little more than seven minutes. It ends with a whisper and trails off. What a great piece! “When the Sun Sets 2” also begins with a quiet prelude, but this time it becomes a more reflective soul searching at the piano - possibly by candlelight. As it builds in intensity, it reaches a peak and then softens and fades out. Gorgeous! “St. Kilda Waters” is a free-form piece that expresses strength and grace - very open and beautiful. I love “I Saw Happiness,” an 8 1/2 minute exploration of that sought-after and often elusive emotion. Melodic yet free in structure, ishs takes the piece in several different musical directions that all make perfect sense. “Unity In Diversity” is a surprise. Very anthemic and hymn-like, it’s a short intermezzo between the longer pieces. “Moving Ashburton” begins with a very soft voice, leaving open spaces between the phrases. Mixing quiet themes with more upbeat, energetic ones, ishs seamlessly creates a tapestry of sound and demonstrates his mastery of the piano. “Melbourne Still Shines” is something of a love song to what is now home. Slow and expressive, it’s a beautiful way to close this truly exceptional album.
is almost certain to be one of my favorites for the year. It is available from adeishs.com
, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!