Quiet Time In His Presence
2017 / Joseph Nimoh
Review by Kathy Parsons
Quiet Time In His Presence is a beautiful collection of nine classic hymns arranged for solo piano and performed by Joseph Nimoh. Born and raised in Ghana, Nimoh started playing the piano in his mother’s church when he was 11 and later studied piano performance at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Although most of these hymns are very familiar, by blending classical, jazz, contemporary and gospel influences with his desire to inspire hope and healing in his listeners, Nimoh brings something fresh, new and deeply personal to the music. Released in 2017, Quiet Time In His Presence is Nimoh’s debut album. He has said that the album was made “for those who desperately desire to spend their quiet time in the presence of the Lord….. It is my prayer that this album will lead people into an honest and intimate relationship with the Lord.” All nine hymns are played fairly slowly, elegantly, and with a great deal of grace, creating a perfect atmosphere for reflection, meditation, and prayer. For those without any religious affiliation, this beautiful music relaxes the mind as it gently soothes and uplifts the spirit. I only recently discovered Joseph Nimoh’s music, and I’m beyond impressed.
Quiet Time In His Presence begins with “Be Still and Know,” a quiet and thoughtful invitation to share some peaceful moments and the perfect hymn to set the tone of the album. “Fairest Lord Jesus” has been arranged in many different ways, but this version seems especially intimate and sincere. It is updated with occasional jazz chords that serve to emphasize the beauty of the melody. “Holy, Holy, Holy” is another hymn that has had its share of different treatments, often bold and majestic. Nimoh’s arrangement is slow, spare and from the heart. I love his interludes between the verses. “I Come to the Garden Alone” (“In the Garden”) is a little different. It’s much slower than I’ve usually heard it, with interesting harmonies and more of a gospel feeling. This has been one of my favorite hymns since childhood and I love this new interpretation! “Just As I Am,” of course, became strongly associated with the late Rev. Billy Graham, and this lovely arrangement expresses deep feelings of love and grace. “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” a hymn I am not familiar with, brings this wonderful album to a close in much the same way as it started - calmly with warmth and peaceful feelings of hope.
Quiet Time In His Presence is a beautiful album from start to finish, and I’m really looking forward to hearing more music from this excellent pianist, composer, and arranger. This and Joseph Nimoh’s other two albums (so far) are available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
April 16, 2018