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Album Review: Reflections
Dan Chadburn
Cover image of the album Reflections by Dan Chadburn
Dan Chadburn
1999 / Alpha Omega Music, Inc.
50 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Dan Chadburn’s second album of impressive piano pieces quickly went from being an exciting discovery to one of my “Top 10 Favorite” albums for 1999. Four tracks include strings, flute, and/or horns, and eight are solo piano. The closing track, “Stay With Me” is one of the few vocal selections on otherwise instrumental albums that I really like. In most cases, for me, these songs seem awkward and out of place, but “Stay With Me” fits in very nicely and brings this excellent collection to a warm and tender close.

My favorite piece on Reflections is “Shifting Sands”, a pensive and somewhat somber solo piano work. The meter changes several times during the course of the piece, giving a sense of questioning or perhaps confusion. Passions rise as the piece develops, and then quiet to a feeling of inner peace. Pieces like this make my fingers itch to play them!

The title track is a lovely, wistful opening to the CD - reminiscing set to music. “Dream Catcher” is also a gentle, flowing piano solo. “Nightfall” is a soothing duet for piano and viola. “Amazing Grace” seems to be to the late ‘90s and early 2000s what Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” was to the ‘80s. I’ve reviewed three albums in the past few months that included it, and all had a lovely interpretation that was different from the others. Dan’s “hymntune improvisation” on this beloved hymn is fresh and contemporary while still true to the song’s sacred roots. “Invitation” is perhaps the most upbeat song in this collection. It is full of changing themes that dance and sing and maybe even plead a little bit. “Companion” is truly a love song with strings and horns gently underscoring the emotions expressed so beautifully. “Farewell” tugs at the heartstrings. Summed up in a single word, “Wow!”

The warmth and sincerity of Dan Chadburn’s playing and composing are refreshing, soothing, and inspiring. I am so happy to have found his music, and look forward to seeing what else he has up his sleeve!
March 1, 1999
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Kathy's Favorites: 1999