is the debut album by pianist/composer Jonathan Campbell, a 20-year-old from Florida who has been playing the piano since he was six. If this first album is any indication, and I’m sure it is, Campbell is a very bright star on the musical horizon. The ten original piano solos on the album range from sparkling and energetic to slower and more thoughtful, but all convey a deep passion for music and the piano as well as for life. It is easy to hear the influence of David Lanz, Yanni, and possibly Michele McLaughlin and others, but only as influences. A very accomplished pianist with exceptionally nimble fingers, Campbell has put together a dazzling introductory collection that is fun, inspiring, and very impressive.
begins with “Awakening,” a high-energy piece that hints of some of David Lanz’s Skyline Firedance
album with flying fingers, frequent cross-overs into the deep bass of the piano, and unrestrained feelings of joy. “Eclipse” slows the tempo quite a bit at the beginning, but it doesn’t stay subdued for long, gradually building energy and speed - beautiful! “Wonder” has a somewhat slower flowing quality but never lacks passion or strength - a favorite. I love the title track, a piece that begins with the sense of vast open space and then takes off. I can’t wait to try this one when the sheet music book comes! There is a strong Lanz influence in this one, too, but it’s all Campbell and his magic fingers - a great piece to wake up to! “Together” is much more of a ballad, perhaps a love song. Tender and lyrical, it shows a different side of Campbell’s composing abilities. “Memories” is also on the softer, more delicate side and is the piece where I hear a few Yanni influences. It’s a beauty that alternates between a sweet melody and more energetic passages - another favorite. I also really like “Discovery,” with its flashy keyboard runs and heartfelt melodic themes. “Farewell” closes this exceptional album with a sweeping ballad that has a melody strong enough to carry lyrics but doesn’t need them to express its message.
Jonathan Campbell is off to an amazing start and I’m very excited about catching him early in his career! Eternity
is available from www.newerapiano.com
, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!