Breath of Life
2006 / Moving Canvas Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Breath of Life is Cobb Bussinger’s first solo piano release and is part of an upcoming series. A professional musician/arranger/composer, Cobb has worked on other people’s music for many years, and did a lot of composing for feature films, documentaries, and commercials in Los Angeles before moving to Northern CA. Working in electronic music for so long left Cobb wishing to return to solo piano and to work on his own music. That need and longing is tangible in this lovely collection of twelve original piano solos. The music is open, melodic, and uncomplicated, and was composed with the purpose of letting the listener’s mind and body relax, releasing tensions. The music is warm and loving, like a musical comforter to snuggle up with and just “be.” As a point of reference, some of the selections remind me a bit of Wayne Gratz (one of my favorite composers for many years), although not many of Gratz’s recordings are without some kind of accompaniment to the piano. Cobb obviously has the chops to play more complex music, but his sensitive touch and emotional resonance are all that are needed to convey a feeling of peaceful serenity.
Breath of Life opens with “Sing,” a sweet melody that would probably do well with lyrics but doesn’t need them. It sets the mood for the rest of the album, which is consistent from start to finish and yet the individual pieces are distinctive. “Song For Linda” is a gentle, wistful waltz composed for a niece who passed away. “Sladki Mechti Moya Obich (Sweet Dreams My Love)” is a song that has words in the liner notes, but the deep emotion and passion are in the music and show once again the power of the piano to convey wordless messages and vivid images. As the title suggests, “Floating By” is a daydream set to music - gorgeous! The title track is also a favorite, with its simple melody and loving touch. Another beauty is “Hold Dear the Tender Heart,” a haunting piece that is more melancholy than some of the other selections. “Nocturne” reminds me a little bit of some of David Lanz’s quieter pieces. I love the way it effortlessly alternates between major and minor modes.
Breath of Life is an outstanding debut, sure to soothe your mind and soul. It is available from cdbaby.com. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to hear Cobb Bussinger’s upcoming series!
October 30, 2006