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Album Review: Walking the Plains & Other Solo Piano Stories
Louis Landon
Cover image of the album Walking the Plains & Other Solo Piano Stories  by Louis Landon
Walking the Plains & Other Solo Piano Stories
Louis Landon
2015 / Landon Creative
59 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Walking the Plains & Other Solo Piano Stories is the eighteenth release from pianist/composer Louis Landon and his twelfth solo piano album. Landon is one of my favorite artists and one that I have hosted in house concerts for the past six or seven years. I love the energy of Landon’s live performances and think this album captures that energy better than most of his previous releases. The music is more varied and includes the vocal version of “Sedona On My Mind” (the title track from his 2013 solo piano release). It seems that Landon has truly found his ultimate musical voice in Sedona, AZ after moving there from New York a few years ago. His music overflows with joy, peace, and inner harmony that simply cannot be “faked.” That’s not saying that some of this music isn’t more thoughtful or turbulent, but the overall feel of the music is that it comes from the soul of an artist who is truly at one with himself and his muse. The album was recorded at The Peace Palace, Landon’s home studio, on his Steinway B grand piano; Joe Bongiorno of Piano Haven mastered the album.

Walking the Plains & Other Solo Piano Stories begins with “Walking the Plains,” a piece inspired by the life-changing experience of a friend’s sister’s walk across El Camino De Santiago in Spain. The piece is unhurried but in constant motion; soulful and melodic, yet transformational - a beautiful start! “Precious One” is a lovely ballad with classical leanings and a graceful flow. “Woods Canyon” is a tribute to the creek in that canyon, which only runs once a year, if that. This lively piece was inspired by one of those times and exudes freedom and a powerful enthusiasm. “Never Ending Story” is much lighter and never stops moving. I really like the poignance of the music as well as the message that “life keeps on going whether one is in it or not” - a favorite. “Ode to Broughty” captures the essence of Broughty Cole, a close friend of Landon’s who left this world last year at the age of 27 - a free and gentle spirit who is greatly missed. “Smell the Roses” is a warm and gentle mind massage and a reminder to slow down and enjoy life. Music doesn’t usually get much more soothing than this one! “Prelude and Etude for a Peaceful World” starts out quietly and freely (the prelude) and then becomes very big and showy (the etude) - a bit similar to Landon’s “Etude for Mother Earth.” “Wind Chime” is very free and leisurely, much like its namesake. Landon uses the damper pedal to create an airy, spacious feeling that is both atmospheric and soothing. I really love this one! “Epic Journey” expresses the excitement of a new adventure - energetic and a bit impatient. I love the deep bass accents in this piece as well as the unbridled sense of fun. That energy continues, but in a completely different style with “Rodeo Gal,” a joyful ode to a free spirited cowgirl. “Call To Consciousness” suddenly turns much more serious, “capturing the energy that is demanding for people to awaken and learn how to live in a more Conscious Loving way” (quoting Landon). The swirling rhythm and sense of urgency convey this powerful, compelling musical message - another amazing favorite! The vocal version of “Sedona On My Mind” closes the album and was written while Landon was preparing for the big move from New York to Sedona - a sweet love song to a new home.

Once again, I can almost guarantee that Walking the Plains & Other Solo Piano Stories will be one of my Favorites for the year. Louis Landon just keeps getting more “excellent better all the time” and I give this album my highest recommendation. It is available from louislandon.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.
July 4, 2015
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Kathy's Favorites: 2015