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Album Review: Bloom Road
Dan Kennedy
Cover image of the album Bloom Road by Dan Kennedy
Bloom Road
Dan Kennedy
2015 / Mt. Pollux Music
55 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Bloom Road is the third album from pianist/composer Dan Kennedy, following the EP Lantern (2007) and the full-length Intuition (2012). Bloom Road contains an exceptional combination of twelve piano solos and ensemble pieces that feature Kennedy on piano and keyboards, Charles Neville on tenor sax, David Rose on Native American flute, and Greg Loughman on bass. All but one of the tracks are original compositions, the exception being the closing solo piano version of The Four Seasons’ 1975 hit, “Who Loves You.” An award-winning composer, Kennedy’s music is an eclectic blend of jazz, classical, new age and pop stylings combined with his own emotions and life experiences. He started playing the piano at a very early age and continued his studies through college, earning a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music.

Bloom Road begins with the haunting “Moonrise,” a duet for Native American flute and atmospheric keyboards. “Prayer For Janet” is a heartfelt piano solo that offers compassion for a friend as well as a wish for healing - a favorite. Sometimes flowing freely and sometimes with a more hymn-like structure, this piece seems to come right from the heart. “Sweet Rain” celebrates the end of a drought with Native flute, piano, drums, bass, and various weather-related sound effects. Warm and soothing, it becomes more upbeat and jazzy as it evolves. “Falling” is a much darker and more intense piano solo about someone taking a big fall in life. Feelings of loss, fear, and confusion pour out of every note, expressing life’s most difficult times. At seven minutes, it’s impossible to not be strongly affected by this piece. The sweet and loving “Beautiful Day (With You)” lifts the emotions with peaceful contentment. “Dulcimer in C Minor” is part of an ongoing series of piano solos composed while imagining the piano is a dulcimer and inspired by seeing an elderly man dancing by The Thames with complete abandon while playing a dulcimer. Free, lively, and in constant motion, this is another favorite. The beautiful melody of “A Moment” is strong enough to support lyrics, but it’s much more fun to imagine the kind of moment being honored by the piece. “Pop Top” goes in an entirely different direction with a feel-good gospel style that features Neville and Loughman as well as Kennedy on piano and keyboards. Love it! “Torrent” pulls out all of the stops in a jazz ensemble that really cooks. “Who Loves You” is a sweet pop ballad arranged for solo piano and infused with love and tenderness.

So, as you can see, there is a big variety of music on Bloom Road that shows just how versatile Dan Kennedy is. It is available from dankennedy.us, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!
March 15, 2015