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Album Review: Spring
Greg Maroney
Cover image of the album Spring by Greg Maroney
Greg Maroney
2018 / Hen House Records
60 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Greg Maroney’s Spring is the second of a four-part series of improvised solo piano albums that celebrate each of the four seasons. I know I say this with most of Maroney’s new albums, but I truly believe this is some of his best work to date. Improvisational albums can be a bit risky because the artist usually hasn’t planned the music in advance and often opens his (or her) heart and soul at the piano. I’m always amazed at the beauty that pours out of Maroney’s fingers when he improvises. The music on Spring is varied, with pieces that are light and breezy while others are somewhat darker and more dramatic. The titles of the twelve pieces suggest what inspired them, but then your imagination can take over from there. This is an album that is accessible the first time you hear it, but then reveals more and more each time you listen. Colorful, soothing, uplifting and stirring are words that come to mind as I write this review. I don’t usually name an “Album of the Year,” but if I did, Spring would definitely be a contender!

Spring begins with “Hint of Spring,” a piece that marks the transitional time at the end of a long winter. The swirling energy in the first half of the piece makes me think of a chilly wind that is starting to lose its grip as the temperatures slowly rise and nature prepares for its annual rebirth and renewal. The music softens and calms near the end, turning to pastel tones as spring approaches. “Woodland Wildflowers” becomes more delicate as it describes the beauty and grace of wildflowers gently moving with the breeze. “Drifting Blossoms” expresses the magic of flower petals falling like a gentle and colorful rain. “Waiting For the Sun” is more intense, conveying the feeling of standing on a cliff overlooking the beach, waiting for the warmth of the sun. I can really relate to this one - a favorite! I also love “Snow Melt,”with its gently percussive dripping rhythm. The simplicity of the piece seems to express the purity of the snow as it unveils new growth beneath it - love it!!! “The Fairy Ring” is the “little sister” to “Fairy Dance” from Maroney’s 2015 album, Lake Song. I commented in my review that “Fairy Dance” could come only from a soul at peace. “The Fairy Ring” expresses similar feelings of contentment and calm. I really like all of the tracks on this album, but “Barn Swallow Ballet” is my favorite. Slow and mysterious, the repeated notes in the left hand cast a hypnotic spell while the right hand tells the story of “dancing little shadows in the evening air.” “The Wanderer” swings the mood back up while expressing movement and carefree excitement. “Redbud Blush” brings this outstanding album to a quiet and peaceful close, leaving the listener feeling warm and refreshed.

Spring and Winter are two of my favorite albums so far this year, and now I can’t wait to hear Summer! The albums are available for digital download from www.GregMaroney.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. I give Spring my highest recommendation!
April 24, 2018
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