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Album Review: Ocean
David Izen
Cover image of the album Ocean by David Izen
David Izen
2003 / Seventh Wave Records
36 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
David Izen’s debut CD is a beautiful collection of seven original piano solos that don’t really fit into any classification or genre. Izen himself calls it “impressionistic,” which seems appropriate. Kind of contemporary classical, sort of new age with some of the freedoms allowed by jazz, the music doesn’t really tell you what to feel or experience, but is open enough to allow the listener to fall into it and create his or her own moods and interpretations of what the music “means.” It is quiet enough to be soothing and relaxing, and yet complicated enough to listen to intently. Most of it is rather abstract in the sense that it would be difficult to hum or dance to, but the exploration of musical ideas keeps the music personal, fresh, and sometimes passionate.

My favorite track is simply called “Improvisation 1,” which begins with a lovely, flowing theme that reminds me of a gentle stream or a warm breeze. For 9 1/2 minutes, Izen lets this theme evolve and meander as it will, creating a mood of peaceful serenity. Elegant and heartfelt, this is a great piece! “From This Moment” is a bit jazzier in places, but reflective in others. I also really like “Ocean,” a piece that sparkles like sunlight dancing on the surf and has the energy of the flow and ebb of waves - sometimes calm and sometimes more turbulent. I’m a real beach bum whenever I get the chance, and this piece captures the feeling of being on the shoreline or watching the ocean’s moods from a short distance away. “You and Me” is a beautiful love song that exudes warmth and contentment. “Sunrise” opens with a wonderful energy and lots of dancing, sparkling notes - stars perhaps? The piece then becomes much calmer and more tranquil, reflecting the quiet of the early morning. As the piece evolves, the music becomes much more colorful and bright, as the sky does with the rising of the sun.

Ocean is a very impressive debut by British composer/pianist David Izen. A bit more cerebral than many contemporary artists, but with a lot of heart as well, Izen creates a very nice balance of thought and emotion. Ocean is available at davidizen.co.uk and cdbaby.com.
June 7, 2005
This review has been tagged as:
Debut Albums