In a Dream
Peter Kater and Dominic Miller
2008 / Point of Light Records
Review by Michael Debbage
Peter Kater continues to astound his listeners with the ability to jump from genre to genre with the greatest of ease, leaving you with the anticipation of the unexpected what’s next mentality. In A Dream is no exception with Kater collaborating with guitarist Dominic Miller, best known for his work with Phil Collins, The Pretenders, and Sting. With complete focus on his acoustic guitar, the creative work with Peter Kater on piano was born in less than seven days, and despite the quick turnaround, the music is utterly dreamy and inspiring.
So how inspiring is the music? Kater and Miller attempted to sequence the pieces in the order they thought they were best suited, but the sequence remained in the order that the pieces were written. Better yet, maybe we should say "created," as each song has a life of its own. Of the eleven tracks, two of them are written by Miller, a solo artist in his own right. His first solo contribution is “Gut Feeling” that brings to mind the melancholy of Sting’s gorgeous ballad “Fragile”. Alongside Kater’s piano work there are no solo banters, just two artists playing in complete accord. Similar themes are played out “Folk Story” with a simple melody that brings overwhelming emotion. The two are assisted by the rich cello embellishments of Jaques Morelenbaum. Meanwhile, “Chasing The Sun” represents the sole Kater/Miller collaboration which is energetic and playful.
The balance of the album is composed by Kater though not at the expense of him taking control performance wise. From that aspect the remainder of the songs are still very much a partnership as best illustrated by the opening title track. By track three the album is soaring with the inspiring “What Lies Within”. According to the liner notes Peter already had a melody in place and Miller recorded his parts with no rehearsal. The song was decorated with Jaques' cello work and later the vocal chanting of Kenny Loggins. This song is a stunning beauty. Loggins revisits on “Close To You”, “Hand In Hand” and the beautiful “In Her Eyes”. On the latter, Kater and Miller are as harmonic as the layered vocal you come to expect from Loggins, creating another wonderfully warm moment.
Frankly, warmth exudes from this close-to-perfection album. With the exception of the at times awkward chord changes on the challenging “And We Danced”, Kater and Miller with a little help from two friends have created an album that radiates with delight and inspiration and all in seven days. One can only hope that this is the beginning of long and fruitful musical partnership.
August 8, 2008
Review by Michael Debbage