I was excited when Bradley Joseph asked me to review his latest CD, Suites & Sweets
. I have three of his previous releases, but hadn’t heard any of his music since 2002’s One Deep Breath
, which I love. I knew he released a series of CDs of music for pets, but have not heard those recordings. Bradley Joseph was the keyboard player with Yanni’s touring band for several years, so I knew him to be an exceptional pianist with a rich and varied background. It wasn’t surprising to me that he released a CD of “relaxing” classical piano solos, but what did surprise was me was that these classical pieces are greatly simplified and performed on an electronic piano. Has the listening public really gotten to the point that we have to simplify these very familiar classics in order for them to be considered “relaxing”? The piano teacher in my soul weeps. The CD is very pleasant and well-engineered, but the pieces have been reduced to their melodies with simple, rudimentary accompaniments. I have played the original versions of most of this music for years and taught it to many of my students, so it’s disappointing to not hear the originals played well or with some new touches to update them. The electronic piano doesn’t have the colors and nuances of a good acoustic, so the sound is rather monochromatic. There is no indication on the CD cover (front or back) that these are arrangements, not the original classics, so here’s a heads up. If you enjoy simplified classical piano music and find it relaxing, Suites & Sweets
is a good choice.
Suites & Sweets
is available from www.bradleyjoseph.com
, Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes.