Favorite Icon, Full size
Album Review: Piercing the Heart
Jon Mutchler
Cover image of the album Piercing the Heart by Jon Mutchler
Piercing the Heart
Jon Mutchler
2001 / Too Mutch Music
73 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Piercing the Heart is a collection of solo piano ballads made up of Jon Mutchler’s most-requested songs from performances at his weekend gigs at Resort Semiahmoo in Washington State. Many of the titles are those that would be expected in a collection like this (“Memory”, “My Heart Will Go On”, “All I Ask of You”), but Mutchler’s playing style is not what I expected at all. It is low-key, uncluttered, and distinctive in its thoughtful, soulful manner. Even though most of these pieces are common standards and I’m sure Mutchler must play them often, the improvisations and interpretations sound fresh and new, making this a most enjoyable CD to listen to and savor many times, finding something new each time. Mutchler has an impressive background in both classical and jazz piano, and has been playing professionally since he was a teenager. It is a real pleasure to hear a pianist with the experience and confidence to let the music sing without needing to see how many runs up and down the entire piano he or she can get into every song. These arrangements are subtle and subdued, keeping an easy-going, reflective mood throughout. I especially like Mutchler’s take on “Send in the Clowns”, “Maria” from “West Side Story”, and Richard Rodgers’ “My Funny Valentine”. I highly recommend Piercing the Heart to those who are looking for fresh new interpretations of old favorites (and a few that are not-so-old). Great stuff!

Piercing the Heart is available from jonmutchler.com and amazon.com.
March 4, 2001
More reviews of Jon Mutchler albums