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Album Review: Summer Daydreams
Kevin Kern
Cover image of the album Summer Daydreams by Kevin Kern
Summer Daydreams
Kevin Kern
1998 / Real Music
50 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Pianist Kevin Kern has released another gem! More classically-influenced than his previous two releases (or is it just all of the strings?), Summer Daydreams is soft, gentle, and sunny throughout. There are no rough or jagged edges, and a wistful, dreamy mood is sustained from start to finish - perfect for a lazy afternoon stretched out in a patch of sunshine or a cozy evening by the fireplace. The album features Kern on piano and synth, Jeremy Cohen on violin, Thalia Moore on cello, Luis Baez on clarinet, and Bob Ward on French horn. Most of the tracks are ensemble pieces with one or more of these artists, and the results are lovely. There are no pianistic pyrotechnics here, but there is an abundance of warmth and sincerity to soothe the mind and calm the spirit. “Pan’s Return” is one of my favorite cuts - it is primarily piano, but contains several passages that are duets with French horn - a combination you don’t find too often! “Pastel Reflections” is also especially nice with piano accompanied by soft washes of strings. “Whisperings” and the title cut remind me of some of the standards of the 30’s and ‘40’s, and “Dance of the Dragonfly” hints of Liz Story’s earlier work. “Return to Love” is a bittersweet ballad for piano and clarinet that could easily become a romantic movie theme. Uncluttered and uncomplicated, this is sweet, straight-forward music for relaxing and enjoyment - a light-hearted antidote for the holiday craziness!
April 4, 1998