2013 / Judson Hurd Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Thankful is Judson Hurd’s third album of piano solos, and this time they are all original compositions. The fifteen tracks were composed over a period of seven years and are dedicated to Hurd’s wife, Jenna. With a common theme of love and its many forms, the music ranges from softly romantic to bold and powerful. Formerly one of the prominent youth pianists of Paraguay, Hurd was trained at the Franz Schubert Conservatory in Ciudad Del Este and then studied music theory and composition at Young Harris College and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music. A performer and teacher, Hurd also writes music for film, radio, and television. He incorporates a wide range of influences into his music, including that of his childhood idol, pianist/composer extraordinaire Philip Aaberg.
Thankful begins with “Black Mountain,” a rhythmic piece that makes use of repeated notes and percussive effects to create bold images and explosive energy. The title track is much more subdued - sweetly flowing and melodic. I really like “Near,” a delicate daydream of a piece that seems to speak the truth as it searches for something. I also really like “Another Day, A New Song,” with its bittersweet melody and rolling left hand. The deep bass accents here and there add a lot of power and dimension. “Will I Hold You Again?” conveys deep emotional ties and possible loss - very touching. “Happy Song” swings the mood back up with a lighthearted spirit that dances all over the piano keyboard. “Moon In the Field” is also very upbeat and lively. The infectious left hand rhythm sets a playful tone that the melody swirls and skips around. Love it! “Shufflin’” has a casual, easy-going attitude that’s somehow very comforting and reassuring. “Song For Sarah” is graceful and delicate, conveying a sweet innocence and beauty. “Untitled” leaves the subject matter completely up to the listener, but the grace of the lovely melody and the emotions Hurd expresses make this a highlight of the album. There is no mistaking what Hurd is trying to say with “Joy,” the last track. Big, bright, and exuberant it’s a happy dance and big bear hug rolled into one!
If Judson Hurd is new to you,Thankful is a great intro to his music! Fans will love it! It is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!
September 16, 2013