Compositions & Improvisations
is a fascinating collection of piano solos, alternating between composed pieces and studio improvisations. Moods and styles of music range from light and simple to pitch black and abstract. Glenn Hardy has been playing the piano since the age of four, and has had extensive training in classical music as well as jazz. That broad range of musical interests and strengths is very apparent in these pieces, and Hardy’s playing chops are impeccable. The composed pieces (the even-numbered tracks) are all very beautiful, but the studio improvisations have a wonderfully free quality and seem more introspective. “Room 17” was inspired by a favorite lakeside spot in Connecticut, and is very serene. I love “Granados,” which was named for the Spanish composer. One of the darker pieces in the collection, it is slow and dramatic with complex harmonies and rhythms - a gorgeous piece! My favorite track is “Dark Corner,” which, as the title suggests is very deep and kind of ominous. One of the more abstract pieces in the collection, it clearly demonstrates another facet of Hardy’s composing styles. “Toccata” follows “Dark Corner” - a lively, upbeat gem that almost dances out of the CD player. Both classical in structure and contemporary in treatment, it’s a great piece! “Mystic River Slow Drag” is jazzy with a touch of blues, and is another favorite. It is interesting that the CD opens with “Aubade,” which means “morning song,” and closes with “Morning Prayer.” Both have simple melodies and are gently beautiful. Compositions & Improvisations
is a great album for those who like solo piano with some complexity and both classical and jazz influences. It is available from hardymuse.com
, amazon.com, and cdbaby.com.