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Album Review: North Maple Road
Kurt Reiman
Cover image of the album North Maple Road by Kurt Reiman
North Maple Road
Kurt Reiman
2018 / Kurt Reiman
52 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
North Maple Road is the debut solo piano recording by composer/pianist Kurt Reiman. Consisting of twelve original piano solos, the album “explores a peaceful journey through life’s quiet landscapes, profound emotions, and most intimate moments.” (quoted from the CD liner notes) While Reiman’s music is not flashy or overly dramatic, it overflows with warmth and sincerity, telling its story in such a way that anyone who takes the time to listen will understand and relate to it. The album was recorded on a nine foot Steinway grand at Inception Sound Studios in Toronto, and the sound quality is excellent.

Kurt Reiman started playing the piano when he was six years old near Stowe, Vermont. In his teens, the piano became an outlet for expressing thoughts and emotions better than words could and Reiman started composing music regularly during this time. He took lessons occasionally, but never learned to read music fluently. Rather than spending the time practicing assigned piano lessons, Reiman learned to play by listening and playing along with some of his favorite composers, including Frederic Chopin, Billy Joel, Lyle Mays, George Winston and Dave Brubeck - quite an eclectic group! Reiman never stopped composing or playing the piano in college, and graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh’s School of Business and Economics and The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He has had a long career in finance and is now pursing his dream of recording the many pieces he has composed throughout his life.

North Maple Road begins with “Sunrise over Narragansett Bay,” a musical painting created in pastel tones that represent the gentle colors of dawn over quiet water. “You’re My Friend” is a heartfelt expression of that special bond between close friends and the almost fearless freedom that gives to just be yourself. “Push Me Higher, Daddy” is a sweet shared moment between a father and his young child. I remember saying that to my own dad as he pushed me higher and higher (but never TOO high!) on the swing set at the local park. “Walk with Me” moves at a relaxed but purposeful tempo - again a shared moment where words aren’t always necessary. “Live Your Dreams My Son” is loving advice given tenderly and from the heart. “By Your Side” is a sweet love song, pure and simple. “Stars and Constellations” is my favorite piece on the album. Calm and very peaceful, it depicts gazing at the beauty of a clear night sky and wondering what lies beyond what we can see.

North Maple Road is a very inspiring first album and I hope it is just the first of many. It is available from www.KurtReiman.com, Amazon, iTunes and many streaming sites.
January 7, 2019
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