2016 / Jim Gabriel
Review by Michael Debbage
Jim Gabriel’s debut recording Sojourn was a startling silky smooth surprise leaving this young pianist painted in a corner as to what to do next. Well if it isn’t broken don’t fix it and Gabriel has returned with the same winning performance along with a batch of well balanced beautiful new solo and ensemble compositions. Add in the production talents of Will Ackerman assisted by Tom Easton along with the Ackerman A Team performers and the results are a blessed sweet surrender Into Eternity.
Of the twelve tracks present, four of them are solo compositions featuring Gabriel and his piano. In fact the album opens with the bare boned spatial “From The Rising Of The Sun” that sets the tone for the entire album. His solo piano performances are evenly spread throughout including a rendition of Coldplay’s “Midnight”. Otherwise the entire album is full of stunning self compositions.
Between the stripped down renditions you can find Gabriel’s interaction with various members of Ackerman’s A Team studio aces. The striking interplay of Gabriel’s piano on “Winter” with Gus Sebring’s French horn along with Eugene Friesen’s cello work is the first of many masterpieces of this first-rate album. Equally as impressive is “Americana” where Gabriel’s piano revolves again around Friesen as well as the addition of the English horn of Jill Haley. Even producers Ackerman and Tom Eaton make a performance appearance on guitar and accordion respectively on the hauntingly beautiful “Goodbye For Now”.
Much like his impressive debut Sojourn, Into Eternity has absolutely no filler in sight. Jim Gabriel’s piano performances and compositions whether they are solo or ensemble arrangements are magical. If you missed his debut then double your pleasure and purchase both the debut and this equally as impressive follow up album.
September 10, 2017