Piano Trilogy 1
2006 / Rauttnee Publishing
Review by Kathy Parsons
Bruce Smith has produced a staggering nineteen CDs since 2001. He has taken the best of those works and created Piano Trilogy, a set of three solo piano CDs with more than an hour of music on each. Many artists claim to be able to freely combine classical, new age, and jazz stylings, but Bruce Smith is the real deal in that regard. Elegant and sophisticated are two words that immediately come to mind to describe both the music and Smith’s playing style; timeless is another. Combining original works with arrangements of old favorites, Bruce Smith has presented an eclectic collection of his best music that truly needs to be heard. Over the course of the past several years, Bruce Smith has become one of my favorite artists, and I hope to spread the word!
Trilogy 1 begins with “La Dolce Vida,” a fascinating piece that begins in a Baroque style and evolves into a more contemporary and sentimental theme that then effectively combines the two styles for the last minute or so. “Just You and Me” is a lovely, old-fashioned slow dance full of warmth and ease. “Contemporary Fugue” is just what the title implies. Lively and bright, it conveys a feeling of fun. “Whimsical” continues the playful mood in a clever jazz style. “Journey of Dreams” is a favorite. Graceful and flowing, the beautiful melody is, well, dreamy! “Cool Fancy” is another favorite. A sassy, bluesy attitude makes it a standout. “My Fine Irish Rose” combines Celtic dance with a traditional ballad style to make a charming, happy song without words. “Helen’s Song” is poignant and heartfelt with deep personal meaning - gorgeous! The first movement of “Sonata in A# Major” returns to a classical styling reminiscent of Mozart and Haydn. The puzzle (or joke) here is that there isn’t a key of A# major. Is this a quiz??? The second movement is much quieter and reflective, and the third is a lively coda that incorporates a second theme that is more melodic. “Journey to Forever” is my favorite track. I love the flowing arpeggios on the left hand and mysterious, passionate melody on the right. Wow! “My Temporary Groove” is a bit livelier and more optimistic. “One Of Those Moods” closes the CD with an introspective piano soliloquy that speaks deeply from the heart in a slow, passionate voice. Smith’s arrangements of “Over the Rainbow” and “Misty” are also outstanding.
Piano Trilogy 1 is a knockout! Give your ears a treat and check it out. Very highly recommended!
January 1, 2006