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Album Review: Piano Trilogy 3
Bruce Smith
Cover image of the album Piano Trilogy 3 by Bruce Smith
Piano Trilogy 3
Bruce Smith
2006 / Rauttnee Press
60 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Piano Trilogy 3 is the final installment of pianist/composer Bruce Smith’s compilation of the best of his first eighteen solo piano CDs (since 2001!). Completely at ease in many genres of music, Smith’s CDs are always a fascinating combination of jazz, classical, pop, and new age stylings - sometimes all within one piece! Two things that are consistent throughout his music are passion and deep emotion, and an effortless virtuosity that never overshadows the message of the music itself.

Piano Trilogy 3 opens with “Searching,” an elegant and dreamy piece that suggests soul-searching rather than looking for a misplaced item - a very lovely way to begin! “Dissonance” isn’t dissonant at all, but has a romantic melody perfectly suited to a quiet slow dance. “Laddie Boy” is a favorite. The gentle melody carries an abundance of tenderness and warmth and reminds me of David Nevue’s “Sweet Dreams and Starlight” in places - very beautiful! “Sonata in C Minor” is a three-movement work with a classical structure and feel. “Dance With An Angel” is a classic. Very romantic with an easy grace, it could become Smith’s signature piece. “Irish Song” uses the same basic folk theme as “Hymne,” which put Vangelis on the map years ago. It’s a simple melody that is achingly poignant, and Smith makes it his own. Further demonstrating his versatility, Smith has included a very credible performance of “Chopin Waltz in C# Minor,” one of my favorite classical pieces to play and teach.“Katie’s Song” is another favorite. Very Russian in flavor with a slow waltz rhythm, the dark, melancholy melody goes right to the heart. “Say Goodbye” is full of sadness and loss, yet is elegant and evocative. “Rhythm Me” goes to the other end of the emotional spectrum. As the title suggests, it’s lively, upbeat, and fun. Smith also includes a gorgeous, improvisational arrangement of “The Shadow Of Your Smile.” The closing track is a real beauty called “A Season’s Time To Be.” Elegant, dreamy, and soulful, the themes change several times during the course of the piece and end with a wistful “so long.”

Bruce Smith’s music is largely a yet-to-be discovered treasure. Sophisticated but accessible, and very much his own distinctive style, be sure to check it out at cdbaby.com! Highly recommended!
March 3, 2006
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