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Album Review: Memory Road
David Tolk
Cover image of the album Memory Road by David Tolk
Memory Road
David Tolk
2003 / North Star Music
50 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
David Tolk is rapidly becoming one of my favorite pianist/composers. This collection of mostly familiar songs (and two originals) is a really nice departure from the standard collections of the same tired songs that everyone covers. David’s piano and synth are accompanied by guitars and real strings, woodwinds, and voice. The two originals are my favorites, but this is a really strong yet gentle album, full of warmth and excellent musicianship. The album opens with Dan Fogelberg’s “Leader of the Band,” a great arrangement with guitar and piano telling the first part of the story, and later joined by strings and other instruments. “Through the Trees” is one of the two originals - a lovely, flowing piece for piano and guitar that has a carefree kind of energy that lets your imagination take flight. Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” is a song that many people have covered, but Tolk’s arrangement is fresh and new. The woodwinds carrying the melody bring out the poignance of this beautiful love song. “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks was a surprise, and this instrumental version works well. Sting’s “Fields of Gold” is a real gem with piano, cello, guitar, and other strings. Pieces like this remind me why I hate synth strings so much - they just don’t come close to the real thing. “Dust In the Wind” is given kind of a “folkie” treatment that sings - piano, recorder, strings, and guitar. “For Julia” is the second original piece, and what a beautiful love song it is! Piano, strings, and woodwinds make this a simply elegant waltz that tugs at the heart. Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” closes the set on a haunting yet peaceful note. David Tolk is a very powerful arranger and composer who knows when to keep it simple and when to embellish. He gets better with each new release, and this is his best work to date. Memory Road is available from amazon.com and northstarmusic.com. Very highly recommended!
March 3, 2003
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