Yesterday Once More
2003 / Dennis Leogrande
Review by Kathy Parsons
From the album title, I expected Yesterday Once More to be nostalgic and “old-timey” piano solos, but it is instead a very interesting collection of edgy compositions that combine classical and smooth jazz elements. Some of the pieces are melodic, some are more rhythmic and carefree, and the titles suggest the wide variety of human experiences and emotions that are depicted in the music. Of the fifteen tracks, thirteen are performed by Anthony Bernarducci, and the other two by Dennis Leogrande himself. Some of the chords and harmonies are quite different and sometimes surprising, making the pieces unpredictable and allowing them to unfold and reveal themselves with each listening. On his site, Leogrande states that he is “not bound by rules, “preferring to follow the creative process without controlling it.” Leogrande does write his music down as he is composing it, but many of the pieces sound freely improvised and spontaneous.
The title track opens the CD. Reflective and pensive, this piece is quite melodic and gentle. “I Should Have Told You” is darker and more melancholy, and its deep emotion really communicates. “Reflections” is one of my favorites. Introspective and passionate, the melody flows around the piano keys with a rubato tempo that underscores the expressiveness of the piece. “The Heart Remembers” is one of the two pieces played by Leogrande, and it makes me wonder why he didn’t do more of the playing himself on the other tracks. This piece is quite beautiful and deeply felt, and is also a favorite. I also really like “Once We Loved” and “In the Mist of Memories,” which are a bit more structured than some of the other pieces. The melodies are once again quietly reflective and have a sense of longing. “Ain’t That the Truth!” is the other piece played by Leogrande, and this is my favorite track. Jazzy, bluesy, and more than a little bit whimsical, this piece sounds like a blast to play, and you can almost hear it smile.
Yesterday Once More is quite a unique listening experience. Ear candy it isn’t, but if you enjoy laid-back music with an edgy, intellectual quality, give this one a try. A companion sheet music book of all fifteen pieces is also available from Leogrande’s website. The book and CD are also available at amazon.com and cdbaby.com.
April 3, 2005