A Gift of Moments
Louis Anthony deLise
2021 / Bocage Music Publishing
Review by Kathy Parsons
A Gift of Moments is the highly-anticipated second album with Louis Anthony deLise as the featured artist. (This distinction is important because Dr. deLise has played on, composed for and produced many, many albums by a full range of artists that include Grammy winners Patti LaBelle, Peter Nero and the band Halestorm.) deLise’s debut album under his own name was Natural Light (2019), which reached the Top Ten of the Zone Music Reporter charts and was nominated as “Best Neoclassical Album” by the One World Music Awards. ZMR also nominated deLise as “Best New Artist” of 2019. That same year, his flute concerto, Salone del Astor, was named “Best Newly Published Mixed Duet” by the National Flute Association. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg from this outstanding artist!
The ten tracks on A Gift of Moments were borne out of deLise’s reflections on love and relationships and were created during the COVID-19 quarantine periods. The music features deLise on piano and percussion, and seven of the pieces include one or more additional musicians playing flutes, cellos, violins, viola, and/or acoustic guitar. deLise composed, arranged, recorded, mixed and produced all of the music on the album. Due to the virus, the other musicians recorded their parts in their home studios and sent them to deLise electronically to edit, master and mix. The results are stunning!
In my reviews, I almost always list which of the tracks on an album are my favorites, but I can’t do that with A Gift of Moments - they are all favorites. The album begins with the title track, a dreamy piano and cello duet that overflows with grace and deep emotion. If this beautiful piece doesn’t draw you in immediately, keep listening - it will! The tender and magical “Always In My Heart” has more orchestration, keeping the piano in the lead. It’s the perfect heart-tugging close to a poignant film or the soundtrack for your own imaginary movie. Peaceful feelings of warmth and contentment flow from every note of “A Time For Peace,” a second piano and cello duet. “All Alone” is a gorgeous and deeply heartfelt piano solo that expresses loss and loneliness. A love song, pure and simple, “The Heart of An Angel” utilizes strings to enhance the sweet and magical feelings expressed on the piano. “In the Before Times” is the last piece deLise composed before the pandemic hit full-force. Played mostly in the upper half of the piano keyboard, this gentle piano solo beautifully expresses the sweetness and innocence of a simpler time. A piano and cello duet, “Gentle Heart” could be expressing love for a small child or a dear friend or it could be a tender love song. The solo piano “A Song For My Children” expresses a father’s deep and abiding love for his children at any age. “Ripples On The Pond” goes in a more ambient direction with piano, keyboard, percussion, flute and an ensemble of strings. The shimmering motion of the music captures the rippling movement of water perfectly. “At the End of the Tunnel” offers hope that things will get better again soon. Also quite ambient, piano, flute, percussion and strings offer a peaceful respite that soothes and uplifts, bringing this excellent album to a tranquil close.
A Gift of Moments is a gift of music from a loving heart. Sure to bring Louis Anthony deLise some much-deserved attention and many new fans, I highly recommend it! It is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and streaming sites such as Spotify. A companion songbook is on the way and will be reviewed separately.
April 1, 2021