All Around Me
2001 / Gemini Sun
Review by Michael Debbage
Back in 2005, Loren Gold released his sophomore effort Keys that was smothered in Smooth Jazz gentle laced in New Age nuances. The format was quite the opposite on his sometimes overlooked 2001 debut All Around Me as Gold’s musical winning combination was a New Age album adorned with underlying Smooth Jazz textures. It also represents one of Gemini Sun Records earliest releases.
Needless to say, All Around Me immediately displays all the ingredients of Loren Gold courtesy of the opening track “Cascade”. The song centers on Gold’s smooth and fluid keyboard work driven by a malleable but rhythmic percussion pattern embellished by Nicholas Gunn’s magical flute work. Similar themes are explored on the smoldering “Midnight Blue” that also features Rodney Taylor on saxophone.
In contrast, there is the soft ballerina ballad “Falling” which has a more simplistic approach also reflected on the compellingly and evocative title track that is doused in soft synthesized strings. The majority of the album explores these themes courtesy of the supple pitter patter of “Snow” which once again features Gunn on the flute. Better yet, skip forward to the mystical “Sounds Of The Mersey” where the wind instrumentation sounds more like a penny whistle than a flute, adding a sense of mysticism to the song. With a continued emphasis in the reflective versus the rhythmic, the album closes out on the bare and stripped down “Until Tomorrow” where it is merely Gold and his piano tenderly concluding this overall more sensitive and thoughtful album.
Loren Gold continues to be deeply tied to the pop industry as a studio musician and also a writer recently exhibited by his co penned Taylor Hicks hit “The Runaround”. This is where both Keys and All Around Me intersect using memorable melodies that are easily accessible whether the preference is Smooth Jazz or New Age instrumentation.
October 23, 2020