1998 / Hearts of Space
Review by Kathy Parsons
Trust is the first recording in a trilogy that includes John Boswell’s 1999 release, “Love”. It received the 1998 GLAMA award for Best Male Artist, and is a shining example of the power and subtlety of solo piano. Boswell’s years of classical training show in his masterful playing, but his composing style is always fresh and contemporary. Deeply emotional and evocative, Boswell’s compositions express feelings and experiences that are both very personal and, at the same time, universal. “Trust” plays beautifully as an accompaniment to quiet activities - the tone is even throughout - , but each of the pieces is strong and unique for concentrated listening enjoyment as well.
My favorite piece on Trust is “Angel in the Ice”. It is a short piece that sounds deceptively simple. The melancholy melody sparkles as light would flicker off ice - cool but so compelling in its beauty. I hit the “repeat” button on my CD player all the time with this one!
The album opens with “Take My Hand”, a lyrical blending of a flowing melody line and gently persuasive chords and arpeggios. “On the Wind” is freer and more abstract - hints of Debussy and Satie - very sweetly so. The notes in the upper registers of the piano sparkle like a “fairy” dandelion seed floating in the breeze. “From the Heart” is the original version of the song “When You Take My Hand” on “Love” - I like this piano solo best. “I’ll Carry You Through” is a breath-taking duet with Boswell and cellist Martin Tillman - sad and poignant, but absolutely gorgeous. Cello and piano make such a sensual pair, and these two artists blend together so beautifully. The title track is a bit more upbeat and seems to smile in its confidence. “Are You There” is full of sadness and loss. “Glimpse of Time” is a slow waltz that once again suggests a bit of Satie - simple rhythmically, but complex harmonically, gentle all the way. This is a favorite of mine - very haunting. “Cloud Vision” closes this exceptional album on a peaceful and introspective note.
I discovered the music of John Boswell about six months ago, and he has become one of my favorite composers. I highly recommend Trust.
January 1, 1998