2022 / Michael Logozar
Review by Kathy Parsons
Vignette is a collection of fifteen original felted piano pieces by Michael Logozar and is his eleventh album. All of the pieces are gentle and soothing, making this a wonderful album to unwind with, get lost in, or simply to savor and enjoy. Only two of the pieces are longer than 3 minutes, and each captures a feeling and/or tells a story. If you are not familiar with "felted pianos," it is a technique where felt or another soft cloth is placed between the hammers and the strings of a piano (in this case, an upright) to soften the percussive effect of the hammers hitting the strings.
Born in Canada and classically-trained from a young age, Michael Logozar released his first album, Coming Into View, in 2008. Several of his albums have been nominated for the Whisperings Album of the Year award as well as a very impressive list of other awards, and his music has been placed on many popular TV shows. Quoting myself from my review of Michael's 2013 The Road Ahead: "Many musicians play from the heart (or claim to), but when an artist has the playing chops to do whatever his composer’s heart wants to express, it makes such a compelling difference." Some things never change, and I would enthusiastically restate that quote for this album!
Vignette begins with "Aria," a very sweet and tender piece that overflows with the innocence of a young child. Quoting Michael: "Aria, my daughter, is always in and out of the studio as I write, record and work. She often suggests names for songs, offers her opinions on artwork and dances while I'm trying to record. She has a vibrant delight in life and living and when I began improvising this song, its joy and playfulness immediately reminded me of her." This piece is also available as an unfelted piano solo single and a piano and cello duet single - all three versions are exceptional! "Duet" began as a four-hand improvisation by Michael and his wife, Kendra, when they sat down and started playing the piano together. The emotional expression is incredible and says so much more than words ever could! As its title suggests, "Air" is light and effortless. Again quoting Michael: "'Papillon' captures the first, disorienting moments of emerging from a dark cocoon into the light and stretching out your wings for the first time." You can hear the hesitation in the early part of the piece and how the confidence grows as the piece unfolds. Very light and delicate, it's a beauty! The title track is a slow, peaceful waltz that could soothe away the cares of any stressful day. I love "Waves" - tranquil solo piano at its best. This beautiful piece brings images of the gentle movement of a calm ocean just as the sun sets - ahhhh... "Silhouette" is also very calming and graceful, but is also slightly mysterious and hushed. "'Amber' is that moment after the sun has set, where the light lingers and the world seems to pause to reflect and say goodbye to the day." A gorgeous piece that also elicits an easy "ahhhh..." The album closes with "Belong," another favorite. Something of a musical hug, it seems to wrap the listener in warmth and then gradually trails off at the end. ahhh!
What a breath of musical fresh air Vignette is! It is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and streaming sites such as Spotify. Very highly recommended!
May 16, 2022