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Album Review: Thanksgiving Piano
Louis Landon
Cover image of the album Thanksgiving Piano by Louis Landon
Thanksgiving Piano
Louis Landon
2020 / Landon Creative, Inc.
53 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Thanksgiving Piano is the second solo piano album by pianist/composer Louis Landon to be released in 2020. Several of the fourteen original tracks have a theme of gratitude and some are about the fall season. The album was recorded over a five-month period at The Peace Palace, Landon’s home recording studio, on his Steinway grand piano. Tim Jessup mastered all but one track on the album and the piano sound is somewhat brighter (but never harsh) than on previous recordings - especially at the high end of the piano keyboard; Michael McDonald in Eugene, OR mastered the last track. Landon is an avid outdoorsman and much of his music has an open, expansive feeling reflective of his time hiking in the Sedona, AZ area as well as other parts of the Southwestern US and beyond. He calls himself the “Pianist For Peace,” which is also strongly indicated in his music.

Thanksgiving Piano begins with “Thanksgiving,” a smooth and mellow reflection on what we are most grateful for in our lives - and a lovely way to start the album. “Autumnal Equinox” has a light and breezy feel while celebrating the majesty of the fall colors and seasonal changes. “Rocking Chair” is one of two singles that came out before the release of the full album and has a relaxed, easy-going spirit that could easily serve as a lullaby - or at least an invitation to sit and "rock a spell.” “Contentment” is even more relaxing, expressing the warmth and calm of inner peace with a gently hypnotic left hand pattern and a freer, more dynamic right. “Melancholia” is one of my favorites. More pensive than dark, it has a quiet energy and a feeling of moving forward that I really like. “It’s Complicated” is my favorite piece on the album. Strongly melodic, it seems to be telling a story - undoubtedly a rather complicated one! I love the crossovers into the deep bass of the piano as well as the sincerity of the melody. “Friendship” is something to always be thankful for and the piece with that title expresses the easy openness that happens with a true friend that we love and trust. In “Inner Space,” Landon uses the damper pedal on the piano to create the feeling of vast space. Played mostly in the upper octaves of the piano, the piece is ambient and spacious as well as peaceful. I also really like “Always Moving Forward” with its uncomplicated left hand pattern and more emotive right. “After the Rain Forward” has a beautiful moodiness that’s on the melancholy side. The slowly-flowing rhythm and freely expressive right hand create an exceptional pairing that evokes a variety of visual images. “We Give Thanks” is the second single released prior to the full album, and brings the album to a warm and thoughtful close.

The consistently high-quality of Louis Landon’s albums is amazing considering his prolific musical output and Thanksgiving Piano is no exception. It is available from LouisLandon.com, Amazon, iTunes and many streaming sites.
April 22, 2020
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