Patterns Of Sun and Shade
2015 / Overland Mountain Music
Review by Michael Debbage
It has been 5 years since we first heard Kathryn Kaye on her impressive debut Dreaming Still that was probably her most stripped down album. Since then Kaye has released two impressive follow ups that have continued to feature the production qualities of Will Ackerman and his A Team session players with Patterns Of Suns and Shade being Kaye’s fourth release in 5 years. There was only a matter of time before her gravy train was going to be derailed but not here as Kaye releases yet another uncomplicated beauty.
Essentially Kathryn’s delicate touch is ever present whether it be on her few solo pieces or her collaborative efforts with the Ackerman’s A Team. For those of you craving her solo piano pieces may be somewhat disappointed as there are only a total of three in the form of “Something Like A Dream”, “Mom & Pop’s Waltz” (the most optimistic of the three) and the rich reflective closer “Distance”. However the opening track “Julia’s Eyes” comes somewhat close which also features the very light embellishments of Eugene Friesen on cello.
On the flip side there is the more jovial “Festival Of Leaves” that features Kaye’s delightful piano work that weaves with the gorgeous English horn of Jill Haley that brings to mind a Nancy Rumbel quality performance. Add the steady percussive work of Jeff Haynes and Tony Levin on the Chapman stick this is probably the liveliest song on the album without distracting from the peaceful theme of the album. Though a little more melancholy, the soft sway of “Willow Waltz” featuring Haley on the horn, Levin and the Chapman stick and Ackerman on percussion is also a mellow splendor.
Kathryn Kaye has not strayed far from the formula over the last three albums mixing a few solo pieces with her collaborative work with the Ackerman A Team. While some may view this as safe when you have such a winning formula there is no reason not to. Thus from her impressive debut to her most recent gem, Kaye has released four albums in five years and despite the incredible pace Kay has yet to create a dud.
June 21, 2015