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Album Review: Piano Preludes
Jason Lyle Black
Cover image of the album Piano Preludes by Jason Lyle Black
Piano Preludes
Jason Lyle Black
2016 / Stone Angel Music
49 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Piano Preludes is the debut album of Jason Lyle Black on Stone Angel Music. A pianist/composer/comedian from Salt Lake City, Black’s music videos have been viewed by more than 30 million people and have been featured by Huffington Post, Good Morning America, Yahoo, Buzzfeed, and other news outlets. Also known as “The Backwards Piano Man,” Black has performed live on the Ellen Show, eliciting the comment that he was “unbelievable,” and for television in Tokyo, Japan. Piano Preludes is a collection of fifteen original compositions for piano and orchestra, and most of the orchestration is performed by actual instrumentalists. Featured guest artists include violinist Jenny Oaks Baker, cellist Austin Packer, and Sara Arkell, “The Piano Gal.” The album was produced by Paul Cardall. Stone Angel Music produces “uplifting music that serves as a tool to access feelings of love, hope, and peace,” and Black’s beautiful music fits right in. Masterful without a lot of pianistic fireworks, it overflows with grace, reverence, and heart.

Piano Preludes begins with “Father’s Blessing,” a gentle piece for piano, strings, and some atmospheric keyboard effects provided by Cardall - a lovely start! “Champs-Elysees” features Jenny Oaks Baker on violin. (There is a gorgeous YouTube video of this piece.) Baker’s elegant, passionate performance sends this piece soaring to the heavens. “Morning Prayer” is a favorite. The occasional sounds of birds and thunder in the background give the piece a touch of springtime renewal and enhance the sweet tranquility of the music, which is otherwise a piano solo. “Winter’s Passing” is a stunning piano/cello duet and my favorite piece on the album. Poignant and deeply emotional, it is worth the price of the album all by itself! “Springtime” is also a duet, this time with “The Piano Gal,” Sara Arkell - warm and full of hope! “In the Garden,” for piano and strings, expresses the blissful feelings one can experience in a beautiful garden. “The Offering” is a quiet, unpretentious piano solo that sparkles in its simplicity - lovely! The lyrical “Escape,” for piano and strings, is both melancholy and a little mysterious - and very beautiful! Sweetly delicate and tender, “Sacred Romance” is a poignant love song performed with piano and strings. “Epilogue” brings this excellent debut to a close with a soulful piano solo with quiet washes of keyboard color to enhance the peaceful mood.

Piano Preludes is a wonderful introduction to the music of Jason Lyle Black! Be sure to check out Black’s YouTube videos as well, to see an entirely different side of his musicality. Whether playing it straight, backwards, or as a funny man, I predict a very bright musical future for this artist! Piano Preludes is available from JasonLyleBlack.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!
May 9, 2016
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Debut AlbumsKathy's Picks