2020 / DKL Records
Review by Michael Debbage
While David Lanz is no doubt a living legend, he is an artist that does not sit on his past glories. It is now closing in on 40 years since the breathtaking debut Heartsounds and since then Lanz has yet to release a subpar album. But there are some albums that stand out more than others. A few of Lanz’s masterpieces include the renowned albums such as Cristofori’s Dream, Desert Vision (with Paul Speer) Skyline Firedance and A Cup Of Moonlight just to name a few. Well add the free flowing inspiring Water Sign to David Lanz’s many albums of top shelf material.
It has been a minute or more like over a decade since this reviewer’s last review of a David Lanz album, specifically the Beatles inspired Liverpool. The connection as a reviewer may have been interrupted but as a fan, never. But a few titles have been missed so it was a wonderful to reconnect with the artist and even better yet to get caught up with a few of the album titles missed. Most importantly, there is his newest release Water Sign which fits like a warm and soothing set of ear muffs with a built in musical massage of masterful mesmerizing proportions. Without a doubt Water Sign is some of David Lanz’s most memorable material in a few years.
Apparently, the water themes tend to bring out the best in Lanz, and this time around is no different. With the exception of revisiting the gorgeous “Rain Dancer” that was original heard on Sacred Earth with Gary Stroutsos, this album is all new material. This time around, Lanz goes solo courtesy of the renamed “Rain Dancer Revisited”. And clearly the theme of water is extended beyond the title with the balance of the album tracks bookending an absolutely flawless six part song entitled “The Water Sign Suite”. Needless to say this is a pure musical baptism of revisiting the naked and vulnerable musical world of the artist and his piano going it alone with no embellishments.
Outside of the “The Water Sign Suite” wonderland, Lanz continues to impress. From the opening track “My Aphrodite” to the gentle swing of “If I Could Write A Million Love Songs” there is very little fault to find with Water Sign. With absolutely no filler, the album concludes with the steady subdued beat of “Lover’s Waltz”. What a magical album Water Sign is!!!
Solo piano albums are very difficult to keep this reviewer fully engaged. David Lanz is one of those exceptions especially when he is completely on top of his game. Needless to say, Water Sign is one of those albums where less is more, placing Lanz and his Kawai Shigeru piano center stage in an unadulterated beautifully recorded environment, adding Water Sign to his significant growing list of masterpieces.
June 5, 2021
Review by Kathy Parsons