George Davidson’s sixth album to date is a wonderfully mixed bag of solo piano arrangements and an original piece (“Touched”) which is quite possibly the best track on the CD. Davidson is a featured soloist at a hotel in The Caymann Islands, and, usually, “club” styles of piano playing leave me completely turned off with all the trills, arpeggios, and rapid runs up and down the keyboard. More often than not, these pianistic pyrotechnics lose the emotional content of the music, but this is definitely not true of George Davidson. His playing style on some of these workhorses such as “Unchained Melody”, “Brian’s Song”, and “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” is fresh and uncluttered.The showmanship is there, but never at the expense of the melody or the meaning of each individual song. It is obvious that Davidson has thoroughly immersed himself in the music to find the soul of each piece rather than just learning a melody and giving it a fancy accompaniment to satisfy a nightclub audience who probably isn’t really listening anyway.
The CD opens with Davidson’s own “Touched”, a lovely and tender piece with a gentle right hand melody and a flowing left hand accompaniment. I definitely want to hear more of George’s originals, and wish at least one more had been included in this collection. Two of John Denver’s ballads are here; “Annie’s Song” is especially effective. Davidson also updates a popular Chopin Etude and breathes new life into it. There is an interesting combination of older and newer standards like “La Vie En Rose”, “The Prayer”, and “My Foolish Heart”. My favorites, however, are the pieces that are less familiar such as “Time to Say Goodbye”, “Sad Lisa”, and “Murmurs”. All of these pieces have a sad feeling to them, and are played in an honest, heartfelt way that communicates beautifully. Davidson’s playing is exceptionally good, and he is a first-rate interpreter of music written by others, making the pieces freshly his own. This is far from easy-listening fluff, and I highly recommend it!
George Davidson’s music can be purchased from several online sellers such as Amazon and CD Now as well as from his own website www.georgedavidson.com