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Album Review: Ebb and Flow
Louis Landon
Cover image of the album Ebb and Flow by Louis Landon
Ebb and Flow
Louis Landon
2016 / Landon Creative, Inc.
55 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Ebb and Flow is pianist/composer Louis Landon’s twentieth album and thirteenth solo piano album. The fourteen tracks include thirteen original solo piano compositions and one traditional folk song that is arranged as a piano and cello duet. I have been reviewing Landon’s music since he released his first solo piano album, Unwind, in 2005, and I don’t know how he manages to keep surpassing himself. “Excellent and better all the time,” is Landon’s response whenever he’s asked how he is, but in the case of his music, it’s completely true! A life-long professional musician, Landon deftly blends his jazz and classical roots with a more contemporary/new age sound that is distinctly his own. Sometimes joyful and high-energy, and sometimes quiet and meditative, strong melodies and deep emotional expression are two of the primary ingredients in Landon’s music. Since his move to Sedona, AZ, Landon founded Healing Piano of Sedona where some of his clients lay under his piano while he improvises music inspired by each person’s unique and personal story. Healing Hearts and Healing Hearts 2 are both compilations of music from those sessions, and the music on Ebb and Flow reflects the improvisational spirit and freedom of that work.

Ebb and Flow begins with “Love Scenes,” a graceful and gentle piece with a sweetly poignant melody overflowing with contentment and peace. I suspect that “I’ll Be Loving You” has lyrics, but this heartfelt piano solo says so much more than words ever could - a favorite. The title track picks up the tempo substantially with rapid broken chords on the right hand (the flow) and a quieter, more peaceful left hand (the ebb). “Life Is But a Dream” has a jazzy/bluesy/gospel feeling that I really like. It makes me think of a soliloquy where the pianist is playing freely and from the heart. I find the turbulent energy of “Beneath the Surface” compelling - another favorite that I guarantee will make your jaw drop! “Exploration Meditation” goes in an entirely different direction although it, too, has a lot of energy. Much of the piece has a repeated left hand pattern under a right hand that dances all over the piano. The soothing tenderness of “Forgiveness” touches the soul - gorgeous! “Excellent and Better All the Time” is exuberant joyfulness set to music (there’s that motto again!). As its title suggests, “The Hummingbird Jig aka the Diddlie-Do Song” is another high-energy ode to joy that clearly demonstrates Landon’s very impressive playing chops and raises the question of how many cups of coffee it takes to be able to play that fast! “Passing Sadness” follows with a beautiful contrast to the high energy of some of the previous pieces. The closing track is a stunning arrangement of “Shenandoah” for piano and cello (Courtney Yeates). Relaxed and lyrical, it’s a stellar ending to a great album.

Ebb and Flow will very likely be one of my favorite albums of the year as Landon continues to hold his position as one of my very favorite pianists. The album is available from louislandon.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
April 15, 2016
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