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Album Review: Redwood Reflections
Matthew Cook
Cover image of the album Redwood Reflections by Matthew Cook
Redwood Reflections
Matthew Cook
2000 / Arianna Entertainment
Review by Kathy Parsons
Redwood Reflections is a collection of twelve original piano solos “from the Heart of the Redwoods.” Matthew Cook has previously released six albums of covers, and this is his first album of his own material. I hope he will continue to release collections of original work. It is full of energy, and Cook excels at a variety of playing styles from blues to new age to rock, pop, jazz, and classical. In other words, he does it all and does it well. The suite, Redwood Reflections, is made up of seven pieces that flow together like a medley. “Morning Fog” opens the Suite with a beautiful musical portrait of the cool, soft fog that we often encounter in Northern California. In the Redwoods, it is stunning - there are no hard edges anywhere, and when the sunlight filters through the mist, it takes your breath away. “Passage” is a bit more intense and melancholy - I like this one a lot! “Sanctuary” is smooth, elegant, and very beautiful. “Can’t Keep My Mind on Business” is my favorite. Deep, funky piano blues - great stuff! The other five non-suite selections range from the sweet ballad “If I Could Fill Your Cup” to the gentle rag “Benson’s Soliloquy” to the jazzier and more upbeat “El Cuervo,” which reminds me a bit of some of Spencer Brewer’s jazz stylings. There must be something in the water up there since Redwood Reflections was recorded in Brewer’s Laughing Coyote Studios! Matthew Cook is a fascinating artist with his versatility and beautiful playing style. Redwood Reflections is available from mathewcook.com, amazon.com, and cdbaby.com.
January 1, 2000
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