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Album Review: Mesmerized
Joe Bongiorno
Cover image of the album Mesmerized by Joe Bongiorno
Mesmerized
Joe Bongiorno
2009 / Piano Haven
52 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Mesmerized is pianist/composer Joe Bongiorno’s fourth solo piano release to date and is his most consistently serene and relaxed music from the first note to the last. This makes it a perfect choice for massage, meditation, studying, reading, unwinding, an intimate dinner, etc. It is also complex and interesting enough for listening with full attention, letting the music send away the stresses and tensions of the day. Although Joe’s music isn’t difficult or showy, he plays with such heart and sincere emotion that it is almost as though he is in the room speaking with you from the deepest part of his soul. In the liner notes, he mentions that these pieces were “born from late night moments at the piano looking out at the night’s sky, usually accompanied by candlelight & a glass of wine. Life can get a little crazy, and this is how I keep it all together!” I have no doubt that Bongiorno’s music is a big part of how quite a few people keep it all together! I had the pleasure of having Joe at my house earlier this year to play a concert, and the man is just like his music - warm, gentle, humble, and very accessible.

Mesmerized begins with “Face To Face,” a quiet, welcoming ballad that sets the tone of the album - a lovely start! “Stargazer” is a dreamy glimpse of infinity - hypnotic! “Mesmerized” is one of Bongiorno’s most compelling pieces so far. Its gentle flow casts a magical spell that draws you in and wraps your mind in unspeakable beauty. This is a “must-hear” track! “First Love” overflows with innocence and the warm glow of that first special someone. “Midnight Blue” refers to the last colors as night becomes its darkest and most still - a magical time reflected in a magical piece! “Harbinger Moon” is a musical dream of looking forward with hope and anticipation. “Hand in Hand” is a simple, heartfelt love song to an unknown someone - sweet and tender. “Indigo Sky” is one of my favorite tracks. Very dreamy yet dark and reflective, it is a lovely depiction of the tranquil stillness of the soul. I also really like the delicate “Twilight Breeze.” “Breathless” ends the set with a quiet, contented sigh.

Mesmerized is soft-spoken and uncomplicated, but each note is meaningful and sincere - an hour of peaceful music that will settle your mind and let you breathe again. It is available from joebongiorno.com, Amazon, and iTunes. Highly recommended!
December 19, 2009
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