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Album Review: Adam's Theme (Smile) (single)
Matt Johnson
Cover image of the album Adam's Theme (Smile) (single) by Matt Johnson
Adam's Theme (Smile) (single)
Matt Johnson
2020 / Dolce & Nuit
5 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
“Adam’s Theme (Smile)” is a joyfully uplifting single by pianist/composer Matt Johnson. The third in a trilogy of pieces Matt composed for his sons, the piece was originally written in 1999 for Adam’s baptism service. It is interesting to note that “the melodic and rhythmic motif was derived using a cryptogram containing his name” (quoted from the “Composer’s Notes” for the sheet music). The sub-title was obviously inspired by the fact that Adam smiled a lot as a baby (and what a charming photo of him adorns the cover!) Warm, sometimes playful and full of love, the strong yet relaxed rhythm propels the smooth jazz energy of the piece and just makes you feel good - a very important element these days!

In addition to the piano, the instrumentation includes flutes, drums and percussion, double bass, and wordless vocals. The sheet music includes the solo piano arrangement as well as lead sheets for C, Bb and Eb instruments. The piano solo is 15 pages and isn’t simple, but it’s a fun piece to play even if you haven’t completely mastered the instrument.

As usual, Matt generously offers his recordings and sheet music downloads for free from MattJohnsonMusic.com. "Adam's Theme" is also available from Amazon, iTunes/Apple Music and streaming sites such as Spotify.
August 11, 2020
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