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Album Review: Visions
ade ishs
Cover image of the album Visions by ade ishs
ade ishs
2009 / ade ishs
63 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Visions is the first solo piano album by Indonesian-born ade ishs. Now based in Melbourne, Australia, ade ishs has studied classical music and jazz from early childhood through his doctorate in music information retrieval. He has also performed with various bands and singers over the years, making him a well-seasoned musician! The nine original tracks on Visions are an effective blending of classical, jazz, and meditational styles, and some of the pieces are quiet and peaceful while others are much bigger and more powerful. The track lengths vary from 5-9 1/2 minutes so the music has time to evolve and develop organically. Often compared to Lyle Mays of The Pat Metheny Group, ade ishs’ playing has the effortless quality of a pianist who is completely at one with his instrument.

Visions begins with the serene “Birth of Love,” a beautiful meditation that feels spontaneous, carefree, and utterly at peace. This is one of my favorite tracks - an inspiring way to start! I also love “Matahari dan Rembulan,” another gorgeous piece of musical tranquility. Opening with a soft, ambient voice, the piece gently picks up energy as is it evolves but never becomes “big.” At the peak, it begins to taper off, returning to the original theme. “Sky” is also a beauty. Graceful and flowing, it depicts various “moods” of the sky from very tranquil to strong and powerful. “Morning Vision” is more of a jazz piece with a sensuous slow-dance tempo and dark, smoky images that build to a triumphant climax and then wind down to the end - my favorite! “Soil” reminds me a bit of Philip Aaberg’s spacious Montana tributes. Passionate and intense, it feels free and unforced. “Rain 1” and “Rain 2” are cool and refreshing - totally relaxed yet elegant. “Awan 1” is more experimental, with passionate and fiery themes woven in among the more subdued ones. If you were meditating to this music, you might find those couple of themes a bit jarring, but for active listening, they demonstrate a different aspect of ade ishs’ outstanding musicianship. “Morning Feeling” closes the album with a warm feeling of hope, peace, and contentment. Very melodic and flowing, I wonder if this lovely piece has lyrics.

Visions is an impressive introduction to the solo piano music of ade ishs. It is available as a physical CD and as a download from adeishs.com, cdbaby.com, amazon.com, and iTunes. Highly recommended if you like solo piano with depth and substance!
September 26, 2009
This review has been tagged as:
Debut Albums
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