Best of Solo Piano, 2007-2018
2020 / Mt. Pollux Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Pianist/composer Dan Kennedy’s Best of Solo Piano, 2007-2018 is a collection of seventeen favorites from Dan’s previous four albums (Lantern 2007, Intuition 2012, Bloom Road 2015, and Mountains Made of Shadow, Anthems Made of Light - the Enlightened Piano Radio “Album of the Year” for 2018!). These are newly-remastered recordings, and Dan has also released two versions of the companion sheet music books, both containing the same seventeen pieces (one version is more advanced with transcriptions to match the recordings, and the second version is “easy piano,”) so this release is quite a special event! Not all of the original recordings were solo piano, but all but two of these tracks are (“Cycle” has wordless vocals and some ambient effects and “A Moment” has strings and subtle background instrumentation). I’ve really enjoyed Dan’s albums from the very beginning, but this solo piano album is truly exceptional and demonstrates what an excellent pianist and composer the conservatory-trained Dan Kennedy really is.
Best of Solo Piano, 2007-2018 begins with “Heaven,” one of my favorites. The easy tempo and relaxed melody get the album off to a blissful start! “Moving On” feels more introspective and a bit melancholy - very soulful! “Beautiful Day (With You)” is a love song, pure and simple - warmth and tenderness flow from every note. “Jade” has a calm, serenity that takes me to an imaginary place of peaceful reflection. “Wintergreen” is another favorite and reminds me of the profound quiet and tranquility of falling snow - a refreshing mind-massage! The nostalgic “Souvenirs” looks back on happy, wistful times with fondness and a touch of melancholy. “Backstory” is my favorite piece on the album with the way it seems to flow from the heart with complete sincerity and honesty - telling it like it is even if it hurts a bit. “A Moment” picks up the tempo with a very pleasant forward motion. “California” has an easy-going pace and a simplicity that feel like vacation - sight-seeing and enjoying the sunshine! Lively and exuberant, “Wildflower” tells the story of the miracle that a wildflower truly is. The anthemic “Allelu” is a beautiful expression of faith. The album closes with ”Clear as the Coast,” a short little gem that leaves us with a smile of musical satisfaction.
Best of Solo Piano, 2007-2018 is a wonderful sampling of Dan Kennedy’s music over an eleven year period. I can’t wait to see (and hear) what he does next over the next eleven years! The album is available to buy or stream from Dan’s site, Amazon, Apple/iTunes and Spotify, to name a few.
October 27, 2020