Piano & Woodwinds
Scott D. Davis
2001 / Scovis Music Productions
Review by Kathy Parsons
I have to admit that this is the first album I have ever reviewed that listed Jesus Christ as executive producer and where God and J.C. were listed first in the “special thanks” in the liner notes. Hmmm. A bit daunting to a reviewer! This is a strong album that mixes piano with flute, oboe, and English horn in a very pleasant and uplifting combination of sounds and melodies. The influences are classical, but the sound is contemporary with the exploration of nature and spirituality as the themes. Davis is a self-taught pianist and composer with very impressive chops, but some of the songs seem to be going in several directions at once. “Lost in the Horizon” is full of energy and spirit, but seems mistitled - it exudes confidence and optimism, not a sense of being lost at all. “Tahoma” is more cohesive, with a lovely theme of melancholy and searching. Flute, piano, and oboe make a compelling ensemble on this piece, with each player given a chance to shine. “A Simple Reflection” is wonderful in its understated elegance and gentleness. “Embrace the Journey” is more uptempo, but carries a strong sense of bittersweetness. Still, it is difficult to grasp exactly what this piece is trying to say. ”Prelude” has a Renaissance feel with flute and oboe accompanying the piano. Wistful and haunting, this is a very lovely piece. Even living in California, “January” conjures up images of cold and dreary days, so I’m not sure of the message of this piece either. It’s quite jaunty and spirited, so my ear is a little confused. “Scherzo” has to be a fun tribute to Mozart and his contemporaries. While very entertaining, it doesn’t quite hold together and seems like more of a “show off” piece. Still, it brought a smile to my face several times. Piano & Woodwinds is an impressive first-effort, and I look forward to seeing what Scott D. Davis and company have up their sleeves for their next album. This CD is available from www.scottddavis.com and www.amazon.com.
January 1, 2001