is the follow-up to Keith Phillips’ 2002 debut, Nightfall
, and is a lovely collection of piano and keyboard orchestrations. A piano teacher from the Atlanta area with a varied musical background, Phillips really knows his stuff and provides the listener with a soothing musical experience without resorting to mush. The CD maintains a consistent mood of peaceful warmth, and yet the seventeen original pieces are individual and distinctive. I’m not a fan of keyboard strings, and I feel these get in the way on a few tracks, but the rest of the album is so good that it’s an easy detail to overlook (most of the artists I’ve talked to would LOVE to work with live musicians rather than using keyboard accompaniments, but budgetary constraints don’t allow it). Five of the pieces are solo piano.
The opening track, “Hawaii,” is a real beauty. Piano, synth washes, flute, and light percussion give this piece a wonderful, flowing energy. It melts into “Beyond Blue Skies,” a dreamy, wistful piece that floats on a cloud. “Caribbean Storm” alternates between major and minor keys, and is a bit more dramatic than some of the other pieces. Parts of it have a feeling of agitation and turbulence while maintaining a flowing smoothness - I really like this one! Randy Copus of 2002 is credited in the liner notes for technical advice, and his influence is clearly heard on “A Smile.” “Beautiful” is a gorgeous piano solo that is gentle, heartfelt, and almost conversational. “Washes of Rain” is a beautiful waltz that gracefully swirls and dances to the melody - the strings are a little overpowering in places, but it’s a great piece. “Moonlight Dance” is as sweet and romantic as the title implies. “Dance With Me” has a playful innocence that is charming.
is a perfect choice for a romantic dinner or unwinding from a hectic day. It is available from keithphillips.net
, cdbaby.com, and amazon.com.