2012 / Real Music
Review by Michael Debbage
For over 16 years Kevin Kern has been recording with Real Music and over the years has become one of the labels flagship artists. Recording his strong debut In The Enchanted Garden back in 1996, Kern is probably the most consistent artist that will bring you stellar recording after stellar recording with some nominal help from a few musical friends in the instrumental arena. Enchanted Piano changes all that as this time around the focus is utterly the piano player and his instrument.
Though not a comprehensive best of, which was better served back in 2002 courtesy of More Than Words, Enchanted Piano spotlights only five of his past eight original recordings. This time around Kern wanted to focus on those songs that had the most profound effect on his fans which helped him with the selection process and in turn created stripped down solo recordings. The intent is quite a wonderful and while it is pleasant to hear Kern in a solo mood, his past recordings have never over indulged in ensembles but more so light enhancements that brought out the best in his melodies. There is no attempt to rearrange the song structure and frankly the recording lacks a deep resonance that leaves the listening experience pleasant but somewhat un-bewildering when compared to the originals.
If you are a fan of Kern, as a completist you will want to add this to your collection. For those of you interested in being introduced to Kevin Kern’s magical melodies, you would be better served to seek out his more comprehensive More Than Words. But if a solo piano performance with delectable melodies is on your musical menu then an Enchanted Piano may fully satisfy that appetite.
March 15, 2012