2022 / Dennis Leogrande
Review by Kathy Parsons
A multi-faceted musician/ composer/ educator/ recording studio owner/ producer (and more!), Dennis Leogrande is releasing not one, but two new albums in 2022! Both are collections of original piano solos that reflect a variety of musical styles and influences as well as Leogrande's own life experiences. Most of the ten tracks on Déjà Vu are on the slower, more introspective side and express the intimacy of a pianist sharing his deepest thoughts and emotions with his piano, perhaps late into the night and maybe by candlelight or with the lights dimmed. Those are images that come to my mind, anyway!
Dennis Leogrande has been a music educator and music supervisor in the New Jersey public schools where he taught band and string instruments in addition to directing bands, jazz ensembles, and orchestras. He holds a Masters degree in Music Education from New York University as well as a Supervisor of Music degree. In addition to teaching, Leogrande has published numerous educational works, composed music for animated films, and operates his recording studio, The Great Kate Studio, in North Haledon, New Jersey, where Déjà Vu was recorded on his Yamaha C3 grand piano.
Déjà Vu begins with "All I Can Do," a beautiful piece that expresses the intimacy of a deep conversation or perhaps soul-searching at the piano. Tinged with melancholy, the music speaks volumes without any words. "And There You Were" is warm, relaxed and more than a little bit blissful. The title track feels very spontaneous - slow, graceful and from the heart. "Have You Ever...?" seems to be a quiet exploration of an inner thought or idea - very introspective. "Maybe Tomorrow" was performed by Ron Levy (Leogrande played all of the other pieces) and is a bit more upbeat and bluesy - I really like this one! "Perchance" has the feeling of a hopeful daydream - fluid and moving freely. "She's All That" overflows with warmth and affection - possibly a daydream of a different sort! It becomes playful and joyful in the middle section before returning to the dreamier mood of the beginning. "Take My Hand" begins as a sweet jazz waltz that makes me smile. As the piece unfolds, it seems to gain confidence, becoming bolder and more expressive. "The Long Way Home" is a slow, expressive piece that seems to be searching for something (is that why he took the long way home???). "What Might Have Been" reflects on "what if...?" - a place we all seem to visit at times. Some of the themes in this piece have a bluesy style, while some are more nostalgic and/or dreamy. I really like this one, too!
Déjà Vu is music for quieter moods and when you just want to let things flow. It is available from The Great Kate Studio store.
April 14, 2022