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Album Review: Milestones
Dave Lewis
Cover image of the album Milestones by Dave Lewis
Dave Lewis
2016 / Dave Lewis
34 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Milestones is the debut album from pianist/composer Dave Lewis. Lewis started playing the piano when he was sixteen and is mostly self-taught (other than a few months of lessons and a jazz improvisation course). He has lived in four countries and five states, and I’m sure residing in that many locales has had a influence on his music. The nine original piano solos on Milestones were inspired by the significant events in our lives, big and small, that can alter who we are or mark where we have been. Like those events, the styles of the pieces are varied from quiet and reflective to more upbeat and lively. The album was recorded and engineered by Scott D. Davis (Scovis Productions) and mastered by Michael McDonald at Syntharts Studio.

Milestones begins with “Unseen Green,” a piece inspired by a trip to Scotland and England with Lewis’ father and his hope to see Ireland one day. It starts out gently in the upper registers of the piano, moves down a bit and becomes more flowing, and then the bigger and bolder main theme takes over, picking up speed as well as drama. “Life List” begins with an extended introduction or prelude that is calm and reflective and evolves into a lively, spirited piece with continuously rolling chords on the left hand and an energetic right hand. My only criticism of this piece is that there are a few passages that could benefit from less pedal (The piano teacher in me has to step in once in awhile!). “As We Grow” is a favorite and is about watching children reaching their own milestones. The various themes in this piece range from sweet innocence and tenderness to a fun bluesy style. The soothing and beautiful “Reaching” reflects on trying to stay calm while making this album. “Nevermore” is my favorite track. It was composed for “those we’ve lost” and is a tribute to two friends who died young. The first part of the piece is poignant and nostalgic, gradually becoming more turbulent and emotional. It then repeats those themes with variations, resolving near the end by fading out without quite finishing - very effective! “You’re Always Beautiful” is a love song, pure and simple. Graceful and heartfelt, this is the first piece that Lewis has heard almost completely in his head and then had to figure out how to play it. I’ll bet this isn’t the only time that will happen!

Milestones is a very promising first album and I look forward to more music from Dave Lewis. The album is available from www.davelewispiano.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!
September 12, 2016
This review has been tagged as:
Debut Albums