Piano Trilogy 2
2006 / Rauttnee Press
Review by Kathy Parsons
Piano Trilogy 2 is the second in a series from pianist/composer Bruce Smith that features the best of his previous eighteen releases (since 2001!). Each CD contains more than an hour of Smith’s distinctive and eclectic stylings of original compositions and arrangements. This one has a total of twenty tracks. All three CDs have a mixture of jazz, classical, new age, and pop genres, and Smith’s playing is effortless and sophisticated with all of them. Bruce Smith has been one of my favorite artists for several years, and this Trilogy is a wonderful showcase of his best solo piano work.
Piano Trilogy 2 opens with “A Dance With You,” a romantic slow dance that is both dreamy and jazzy, evoking visions of an elegant dance floor with graceful couples dancing cheek to cheek. “Lovers Passion” is more upbeat and intense, alternating between a slow, tender theme and a fast-moving rhythmic one. Much of this piece has the freedom of improvisation within a structured framework. “Fantasy” is more classical, combining a carefree daydream with a more heavily-chorded bridge - a fun and fascinating piece. “Irish Frolic” is about as lighthearted as you can get as it dances and swirls joyously. Two tracks are a “Vince Guaraldi Tribute,” and are Smith’s excellent arrangements of “Linus and Lucy” and “Christmas Time is Here.” “Sonata in F Major” is a three-movement work reminiscent of Mozart and his contemporaries, also excellent. The other cover tune is a great version of Dave Brubeck’s classic, “Take 5”. This one makes my fingers itch! “Smooth Time’n” is a favorite - very bluesy and slinky. Love it! I also really like “Soldier In the Rain,” a slow, deeply reflective piece that conveys profound sadness. “Slow and Easy” is another wonderful blues piece, and the title is perfect. “Simplicity” closes the CD with a gentle, deeply heartfelt beauty.
Piano Trilogy 2 is an outstanding collection for those who like a variety of styles combined on one CD. Bruce Smith is an artist who needs to be discovered by more listeners, and I hope this “trilogy” will open doors for him. Give yourself a treat, and check him out at cdbaby.com. Recommended!
February 2, 2006