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Album Review: After the Storm
Jeffrey Michael
Cover image of the album After the Storm by Jeffrey Michael
After the Storm
Jeffrey Michael
2004 / Fireheart Music
57 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
After the Storm is Jeffrey Michael’s sixth release on his own Fireheart Music label. Melodic and passionate, this is quite an impressive package. Self-taught from the age of six, and composing in his own musical shorthand since the age of eleven, Jeffrey Michael has a powerful and expressive touch and composing style. His left-hand sometimes falls into overly repetitive patterns that can detract a bit from the strong and effective melodies, but I don’t know how many non-pianists would notice. Overall, the music is eloquent, rich, and very enjoyable.

“The Storm” is a very interesting piece inspired by George Winston. The left hand patterns are repeated exactly the same too many times for my ears, but provide a driving rhythm. The right hand plays in the normal registers, but also crosses over to the deep bass of the piano, making up for some of the harmonic changes that don’t come from the left hand. I really like the feel and spirit of this piece - there is a lot of energy, and the right hand does an excellent job of telling the story. Appropriately, “After the Storm” follows - a study in peace and tranquility - very flowing and elegant. “The Edge of the Ocean” also has energy and passion with arpeggiated chords in the left hand and a lovely melody in the right. “Stillness” is again serenely elegant and flowing - it’s very easy to let your mind wander off while listening to the peaceful melody. The CD closes with “The Dreamer’s Waltz,” the first piece Jeffrey Michael composed at the age of eleven - sweet and simple, but with a lot of heart.

At the age of 26, Jeffrey Michael is very impressive. With a little more variation in the left hand patterns he plays, his work could become stellar. After the Storm is available from fireheartmusic.com.
April 28, 2004
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