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Album Review: White Coat Compositions
Paul L. Fine
Cover image of the album White Coat Compositions by Paul L. Fine
White Coat Compositions
Paul L. Fine
2009 / Paul Fine
72 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
White Coat Compositions is Paul L. Fine’s third CD of original works for piano. An Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan who has been playing the piano since the age of five, Dr. Fine’s previous recordings are Fine Tuning and Doctor’s Notes. In addition to Fine’s ten piano solos, there is a short piano solo composed by his younger son, two piano duets, a duet for piano and Fine’s daughter on flute, and four vocals with piano accompaniment. As usual Fine displays a broad range of musical styles from very classical to lively ragtime, novelty vocals, deeply-felt tributes, and even some improvisation. Above all, Fine demonstrates dedication to both his family and his profession, and you can tell from the music that he is one very kind and caring man.

The first White Coat Composition is “Sara’s Rose,” a charming piece composed to celebrate the birth of a little girl. Beginning as a lovely waltz, the piece weaves an interesting combination of themes into a elegant tapestry of sound. “The Chasing Music” is one of my favorites. When Fine’s children were younger, they would chase each other in loops around the house while Fine supplied the music. Blending Keystone Cops-style chase music, jazz themes, and even some boogie woogie, this piece is pure fun! “A Show Of Hands” is a four-hand duet that Fine composed to play with his older son, Derek, and they debuted the piece at Derek’s piano recital a couple of months ago. The piece has a beautiful flow and shows that Dad isn’t the only talented pianist in the Fine family! “A Touch Of Classical” could have easily been written by one of the composers of the Baroque era - delightful! “The Greek Mystique” is another favorite. A minor key dance that reflects the sound of Greek folk music, it’s a lively charmer! “China Patterns” is a graceful improvisation with an Asian accent. “Twenty Years” is a romantic and sentimental piece written for Fine’s wife for their twentieth wedding anniversary. “Michigan Weather” was inspired by the changeability of the weather in that state, and combines a wild array of musical themes and styles to create a fascinating whole. “Father’s Day” is a touching song sung by Fine that is a father’s loving wish to each of his children that they never get any older. “Mowtown Blues” is a funny song about the trials of lawn care! “The Hippocratic Ode” is an idealistic tribute to the medical profession and what a doctor/patient relationship should be. Fine imagined the song being sung by a medical student just before the administration of the Hippocratic Oath at her medical school graduation. Alexandra Kejner recorded the song just four days after she officially became a doctor, making the words especially poignant.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all three of Paul Fine’s CDs. Along with excellent music, he offers a very gracious and personal look at his life and the people in it. Check out White Coat Compositions at CDBaby.com. Recommended!
July 8, 2009
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