Favorite Icon, Full size
Album Review: Love
Peter Kater
Cover image of the album Love by Peter Kater
Peter Kater
2015 / Mysterium Music
72 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
With more than sixty albums to his credit, Peter Kater is arguably one of the most prolific artists on the planet today and yet he never duplicates himself. Love is his third release for 2015 and the year isn’t even half over yet! Love is Kater’s first solo piano album in more than ten years and is a collection of seven composed pieces and six improvisations that share the common theme of love and its many wonders and emotions. In the extensive liner notes, Kater has explained the basis or inspiration of each piece, giving a deeper and more personal insight into the music. With ten Grammy nominations to his credit, Kater clearly demonstrates why he is one of the most popular contemporary pianists and why he is in such demand for a wide range of musical projects that include television, On and Off Broadway productions, film music, environmental projects, and collaborations with a very diverse group of artists. On Love, Kater explores the many facets of love, not just the more common musical themes of romance and infatuation. He also encompasses hurt, loss and healing as well as the love of self - a much more mature approach that translates beautifully into Kater’s unique and distinctive musical language.

Love opens with the title track - the only piece on the album not written for another person. As he says in the liners, “any potential ‘love’ relationship begins best with a healthy love and compassion for one’s Self.” Elegant yet warm and earthy, it’s a beautiful beginning. “Innocence” speaks to the wonder of new love - the feelings and desire for closeness and discovery. Passionate yet tender, it overflows with hope as well as excitement. “Intimacy” is the first of the improvisations. Vulnerable, spare and very gentle, the music is expressed with a completely open heart - a favorite. It is interesting that “Two of Us” is the only piece Kater has ever written with only two chords. Kater makes very effective use of the damper pedal in “Mystery,” creating an expansive atmosphere in which to explore the many unknowns of love. “Safe Haven” conveys the warmth, peace, and comfort of knowing that you are where you are supposed to be - another favorite. “Tenderness” is Kater at his most sensitive with a velvet touch that caresses the piano keys as well as the soul. “Turbulence” is an improvisation that expresses the darker times when it feels that all is lost and may never return. Kater pours his heart out in this one. The pain and mix of emotions are palpable and passionately expressed - an amazing piece. “Keep Loving You” is a gorgeous ballad that comes from deep within, asking if this love can last and continue. The powerful and deeply emotional melody says so much more than words ever could. The closing track, “Passion” is actually an improvisation on a composition, recorded as Kater was exploring the feeling of a new piece. This unedited version may not be perfect, but the emotional content is. As Kater says, “even with the ‘errors,’ unplanned divergences, exposing flaws and raw vulnerability ... it’s alive, it’s honest.” AND it’s a very beautiful ending to a great album.

I hope it won’t be another ten years before Peter Kater’s next solo piano album! Love is one of his best albums ever and sure to be a favorite for 2015! It’s available from peterkater.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
June 23, 2015
This review has been tagged as:
Kathy's Favorites: 2015
More reviews of Peter Kater albums