Memories of Water and Light
2019 / Heart Dance Records
Review by Kathy Parsons
Memories of Water and Light is the sixteenth album from pianist/composer, Scott Cossu, and his second release on the Heart Dance Records label. One of the first artists signed to the legendary Windham Hill label back in the early 1980’s, Cossu has been recording and performing internationally for more than forty years. Joining Cossu on this album are his longtime guitarist, Van Manakas, and cellist Holly Reeves. The ten original tracks were composed to create a sense of peace and heartfelt emotion as well as to be a reminder of the importance of family and friends. The title refers to the fact that we are born of water and into the light. “As we age, water and light continue to renew us. We turn our faces to the light and use it for comfort. We seek moments by the water to refresh our souls…. The songs on this recording represent water, light and the love for those past and present.” (quoted from the liner notes of the CD) As is true of many of Cossu’s albums, this one is difficult to categorize into a single genre - one of the reasons Cossu has been one of my favorite artists for a long time! He incorporates many influences and life experiences into a musical language uniquely his own.
Memories of Water and Light begins with “Wedding Lanterns,” a piece Cossu wrote for his daughter’s wedding. Luminary lanterns were used in the wedding, and the music reflects the peaceful warmth of their glow. The title track has some classic Cossu characteristics, but is fresh and vital. Manakas and Reeves really shine on this one! “Cerulean Eyes” was written for Cossu’s wife, Debi, and overflows with tenderness and love. “Follow Your Heart” is always good advice and the smooth vibe of the music offers encouragement and support. “Here With You” is a love song, pure and simple - graceful, gorgeous and a favorite! “Luminoso” is especially difficult to categorize with its lively piano, smooth and gliding cello, and masterful classical-style guitar, which all work together seamlessly. The slow and reflective “Ascending Angels” was composed in the memory of several of Cossu’s friends - from the heart and very poignant. “Lucid Watercolors” has an effortless flow while expressing feelings of peaceful contentment. The closing track, “Last Snow,” is equally peaceful, but in a somewhat different way. Instead of reflecting on the past, it seems to be looking forward with hope and anticipation for the coming renewal of spring.
A new release from Scott Cossu is always a musical event, and Cossu and company have created a “sweet sixteenth” album that is likely to shoot up the charts and garner a lot of positive attention. It is available from Amazon, iTunes and several streaming sites.
January 13, 2020