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Album Review: The Wishing Well
Christine Brown
Cover image of the album The Wishing Well by Christine Brown
The Wishing Well
Christine Brown
2011 / Key Image Music
49 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
I know I say this every time Christine Brown releases a new solo piano album, but even though I have loved all of her piano albums, I think The Wishing Well is her best yet. Warm, thoughtful, and conveying a variety of emotions and moods, Brown’s music is graceful with a strong classical influence and a mastery of the instrument. There is nothing particularly flashy about Brown’s music, but she has the chops to express whatever she chooses at the piano, allowing the listener a glimpse into her soul. Sometimes joyful, sometimes melancholy, often reflective, and always beautiful, Christine Brown delivers some of the best of what the solo piano genre has to offer. The Wishing Well was recorded at Joe Bongiorno’s Piano Haven Studio near Seattle, and, as always, the piano sound is superb.

The Wishing Well begins with the title track, a dreamy piece with a flowing energy and a lighthearted touch. “Pendulum” is one of my favorites. A bit darker, it could be musing about the passage of time and how quickly life evolves and changes. “Daybreak” is more ambient, with a gorgeous sweep that expresses the beauty and optimism of a new day. “Blessing In Disguise” is another favorite, conveying feelings of sadness and deep emotion. Very gradually, the mood lightens a bit, but this one is never quite joyful - a profoundly beautiful piece from start to finish. “Water Reverie” has a bright and sparkling energy that suggests light dancing on water. “Gypsy Wind” is quite different from the other tracks, but I love its mysterious, swirling movement and darkly compelling minor key. Joe Bongiorno told me recently that whenever he hears “Stronger,” he has to play it over and over again, and I can see why. Another passionate and very personal piece, it expresses feelings of loss and sadness in a way that anyone who listens with an open heart can share. “Turning Tide” is my favorite track. Gracefully flowing, it suggests a returning sense of optimism after a darker period - things will be okay after all. Love it! “When You Smile” is a tender love song, pure and simple. “Velvet Meadows” expresses the beauty of nature and how affecting it can be, ending the album with warmth and hope.

The Wishing Well is a great album from the first note to the last! It is available from www.christinebrownpiano.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
December 7, 2011