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Album Review: Chasing Tornadoes
Patrick Gorman
Cover image of the album Chasing Tornadoes by Patrick Gorman
Chasing Tornadoes
Patrick Gorman
2010 / Movements in Glass
40 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Chasing Tornadoes is the anxiously-anticipated follow-up to Patrick Gorman’s amazing solo piano debut Sounds From the Wishing Well (2005). The legendary Will Ackerman again acted as producer on this album, which was recorded at his Imaginary Road studios in Vermont. Gorman is a self-taught pianist as well as a drummer, and it is interesting to note that when he recorded his first album, he had not listened to other contemporary pianists such as George Winston, David Lanz, or Philip Aaberg, making his style unique and without the influence of other artists in the genre. Gorman’s music is exploratory, but isn’t discordant or without a rhythmic pulse. The music is definitely on the dark, moody side and is intensely personal and expressive yet accessible to most listeners. I find Gorman’s music compelling and very pleasantly addictive, so I hope it won’t be so long between albums next time.

Chasing Tornadoes begins with “Hollow,” a darkly mysterious and turbulent piece that overflows with passion while drawing the listener in from the first notes. “Lines in the Sand” is a bit more flowing and free-form while conveying powerful emotions. “Chaturanga” is a bit lighter and more playful while still dark and mysterious - one of my favorites. “Impromptu” goes very deep within and feels much like an intimate dialog; I hear hints of Philip Aaberg here and there (always a big compliment!). “Shades of You” is another favorite. A haunting minor key waltz with several evocative themes, I love this one! “Birds of Paradise” makes effective use of the damper pedal to create echoes and a feeling of vast atmosphere. The notes are spare with quite a bit of open space, creating an image of peaceful solitude. “Scorpio Rising” is also very tranquil - perhaps a graceful slow dance. “Properties of Midnight” has a calm, rolling motion with a simple, elegant melody - very warm and contented. “Fields of Roma” closes the set with a lovely, gentle piece that trails off with a sigh.

Chasing Tornadoes was well-worth the wait and is an album that reveals new things every time you listen to it. It is available from www.patgorman.com, Amazon, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
February 2, 2010
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Kathy's Favorites: 2010
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