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Album Review: Oasis
Christine Brown
Cover image of the album Oasis by Christine Brown
Christine Brown
2024 / Key Image Music
43 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Oasis is the 21st album from pianist/composer Christine Brown, and I'm more than happy to say that I've reviewed almost all of them! I've always loved Christine's elegant, heartfelt playing style whether it is her original piano solos, Christmas music, or medleys of familiar songs and classical pieces. Oasis is a gorgeous collection of thirteen original piano solos that really showcase Christine's expressive playing style. From light-hearted and playful to darker and more mysterious, it's a wonderful album to get lost in as the music calms and soothes your soul. Quoting from the liner notes of the album:

"Oasis def.-n. pl. - A calm place of shelter where we can find peace or rest; something or some place that provides a tranquil safe haven from the busy and unpleasant.

“Throughout the many years and over 20 albums, the piano has remained my sanctuary. It is still an escape from stress, a deep exhale releasing emotions that cannot be expressed in words. Creating music remains an absolute joy, and the piano will always be that peaceful refuse, my oasis. I hope this music provides that same joyous feeling I experience when playing these songs....”

Oasis begins with "Sunlit Shadows," a relaxed and dreamy piece that sets the peaceful tone of the the album. "Sapphire Waves" has a very free and expressive rhythm that is almost as unpredictable as the ocean waves it describes - a favorite! "Valse du Soir" is a light, carefree waltz sure to bring a smile. The title track matches the definition of "oasis" that I quoted above without needing any words - very calming and beautiful. I really like the gentle, flowing quality of "Linger," which brings to mind the phrase about stopping to smell the roses - always a good reminder! Bright and lively, "Carousel of Stars" is in constant motion and sparkles from start to finish. Much darker and more mysterious, "Passage" could be about many different things, so I won't guess - I really like the piece, though! "Esperanza" expresses a warm and gentle grace perfectly suited to Christine's piano touch. Very fluid, free-flowing and relaxed, "Mirage" has a mysterious feeling, but it's a pleasant one. The fanciful tone of "Dancing Embers" reminds me of being mesmerized watching the flames in a fireplace or campfire on a chilly night. "Tangled" is my favorite track on the album. To me, it beautifully describes those feelings of being caught in a situation without an easy resolution - a tangle of emotions. I'm not sure what inspired "Captured Rainbow," but it has a light and peaceful melody that is more than pleasant. Oasis comes to a blissful close with "Golden Sky," a piece that makes me think of the wonders of a sunset over the ocean - sigh....

Pianists will be happy to know that the sheet music for Oasis is available as a spiral-bound printed book or as a digital download from Christine's website, as are downloads of the individual pieces. The album is available on CD or as a download from Christine's site, too. Downloads and streaming are available from Amazon and Apple Music/iTunes, and the album is available to stream on many of those platforms, including Spotify. Highly recommended!
May 19, 2024
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