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Album Review: Almost Home
Michael Jones
Cover image of the album Almost Home by Michael Jones
Almost Home
Michael Jones
2006 / Pianoscapes
72 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Almost Home is the first release from legendary pianist/composer Michael Jones in four years, and was certainly worth the wait! Inspired by Walt Whitman’s poems for the open road, the music for Almost Home has an expansive feeling and sense of adventure. The seven tracks range in duration from 6 1/2 minutes to fourteen, with four of the tracks at least eleven minutes long. The music is unhurried and evolves organically as it is being created on Jones’ phenomenal Bosendorfer grand piano. His fifteenth release to date, Almost Home was independently released on Jones’ own Pianoscapes label. A psychologist, artful leadership trainer, author, and public speaker, Jones brings his rich and varied background as well as a unique voice to his music. His approach is to work with his original music over a period of time until it feels right, but then to empty his mind as much as possible when he records it so that it is spontaneous and “in the moment.” Jones prefers to record his albums in one sitting with only minor edits - if there are any edits at all.

Summarizing such lengthy pieces in a few words isn’t easy, so I’ll mention a few of my favorites. “A Child Went Forth” is perhaps the most classical of the pieces. Dark and moody in some places, sparkling and dancing in others, the piece offers a dazzling array of emotions yet remains a cohesive musical exploration. I also really like “I Hear the Earth Singing,” a joyful piece that feels both substantial and fragile. “Wanderings of a Restless Soul” is more introspective and anxious, freely following the muse where it leads - sometimes shimmering on the upper treble notes and sometimes deep in the marvelous dark bass tones of the piano. The title track is my favorite. A bittersweet melody takes the listener to a place so beautiful that it is almost sad. This is Michael Jones at his most personal and deeply emotional best. What an incredible piece!

Almost Home is a richly rewarding musical experience for new and old fans of Michael Jones’ music. It is available from www.pianoscapes.com. Highly recommended! For an in-depth interview with Michael Jones, visit solopianopublications.com/interviews/jones.htm.
September 11, 2006
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