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Album Review: The Arrangements One
Danny Wright
Cover image of the album The Arrangements One by Danny Wright
The Arrangements One
Danny Wright
2008 / 5th Avenue Records
54 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Arrangements One is a collection of fourteen pieces mostly from Broadway and film, arranged and performed as piano solos by Danny Wright. It seems that with a lot of collections such as this, the arrangements are drowning in glissandos, arpeggios, and decorative runs up and down the piano keys, but Danny Wright focuses on the melodies, giving them power, passion, and sensitivity. His arrangements are full and showy enough to impress, but the emphasis is on the music, not the pianist, as it should be. Wright has chosen pieces that just about everyone knows and has lovingly given them a make-over that preserves their familiarity while freshening up the sound and reminding us of why these songs have been popular for so long, never really going out of favor.

The first “Arrangement” on the CD is Irving Berlin’s “Always,” a piece composed in the 1920’s for his wife. Soulful and elegant, it sets the tone for the album. “Memory,” “Endless Love,” “It Might Be You,” and “You Raise Me Up” are more recent themes that have become standards, all lovingly arranged and performed. “Send in the Clowns” has a little surprise coda at the end that is sure to bring a smile. Especially noteworthy are “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” (not one of my favorite songs, but Danny’s version is gorgeous), “Summertime” (this one IS one of my favorite songs, and this arrangement is sultry and steamy - love it!), “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” (delicate and dreamy), “Nights In White Satin” (one of my favorite rock songs EVER, and this arrangement is quite different from David Lanz’s), and “Shenandoah” (wistful and nostalgic).

If you are looking for a collection of old favorites reborn as soulful piano solos, check this one out! It is available from dannywrightpiano.com.
May 6, 2009
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