2002 / Wachusett Records
Review by Kathy Parsons
Reservoir is an impressive debut of original solos and variations on familiar themes by pianist Alicia Bessette. Drawing on memories of growing up and experiences in nature, Bessette takes us on a most enjoyable tour of meaningful places and events in her life. Most of the pieces have a nice easy flow to them, but a few are bigger and a bit more turbulent.
The CD opens with “Open Your Hand,” a sweet and light-hearted piece that conveys an almost child-like innocence. “Under Water Looking Up” is one of my favorites. It has a beautiful, gentle flow, and yet sparkles like light dancing off of water. There are no hard edges - just a soothing tranquility. “What Did You Wish For?” begins with the melody of “I Could Have Danced All Night,” played in the style of a music box. As a child, Bessette actually heard this song on her aunt’s music box, and wondered what the future would hold for her. The song is fluid and dreamy like a young girl’s imaginings. “The Chestnut Tree Dreams” is darker and a bit more classical in feel. “Shapeshift” is a real beauty. The opening moments seem inspired by Bach, but as the title implies, the themes shift into other forms seamlessly, creating a fascinating piece. I also really like “Soon,” which has a sense of urgency or impatience at the thought of something coming, and wanting that something now!
Reservoir is a very promising debut from Alicia Bessette, and I look forward to seeing what comes next! Reservoir is available from amazon.com, cdbaby.com, and cdstreet.com.
June 22, 2003