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Album Review: Solo Piano for Peace
Louis Landon
Cover image of the album Solo Piano for Peace by Louis Landon
Solo Piano for Peace
Louis Landon
2009 / Landon Creative
54 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Solo Piano for Peace is the third installment in Louis Landon’s quest “to create a peaceful world by writing, recording, and performing music from the heart.” In June 2008, Landon began posting free downloads of his improvisations on the internet with the goal of writing one “improv for peace” each day until the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are over. Landon’s motivation was the idea that peace begins as a thought, and thoughts become reality when put into action. The enthusiastic response from around the world prompted Landon to record some of these improvisations at Joe Bongiorno’s Piano Haven Studios near Seattle, WA, and then to seek out Eric Tingstad to co-produce and edit the music. Frequently, recorded improvisations simply do not hold up to repeated listenings, but Landon’s music is flawless and cohesive, reflecting his many years as a traveling jazz pianist. Most of the music on this album is thoughtful and reflective, but it also carries a strong spirit of optimism and hope. The piano sound itself is rich and warm, picking up Landon’s nuanced performance beautifully.

The first improv on the album is the sweetly joyous “Seattle Morning,” a piece that conveys peaceful contentment and anticipation for a new day. The only piece of the thirteen that Landon didn’t compose is his effective and soulful arrangement of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” a classic plea for world peace. The beautiful “Heartland” suggests an appreciation for wide open spaces and a simpler approach to life. “Bittersweet” is more pensive and classically-influenced; it’s also one of my favorite tracks. “Skater Girl” has a graceful energy that gives a feeling of freedom and joy. “Court Dances” recalls some of the simple, elegant dances of Mozart and Beethoven’s time, updating the style while remaining true to the form. “Fear Not My Love” is a tender, loving song of comfort and reassurance - gorgeous and heartfelt. “Rejoice” is a soft-spoken invitation to celebrate and be glad. Near the end of the piece, it builds a bit, but it is mostly gently spirit-lifting. The closing track, “Resolution,” begins in a dreamy style and builds strength and sparkle as it evolves, ending with confidence and a sense of moving forward.

I have thoroughly enjoyed Louis Landon’s previous two recordings, but Solo Piano for Peace is my favorite of the three. Very best wishes to Louis in his noble quest, and may his music touch enough hearts to help make peace a reality! This album is available from louislandon.com, CDBaby.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes. Check it out!
May 10, 2009