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Album Review: Tahoma
Scott D. Davis
Cover image of the album Tahoma by Scott D. Davis
Scott D. Davis
2003 / Scovis Music Productions
58 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Tahoma is pianist Scott D. Davis’ follow-up to “Piano and Woodwinds” (2001), and this time, the recording is all solo piano. A dynamic performer with rock roots, Davis’ two passions in life are hiking and the piano, so much of his musical inspiration comes from experiences outdoors. Five of the fourteen tracks are solo versions of pieces from his aforementioned release. I like all of the music on this album, but find the sound of the piano a bit brittle and metallic on some of the tracks. It is listed in the liner notes as a Kawai concert grand, so I’m not sure why this is. Some of the tracks are very calm and “new agey” while others are very big and upbeat. Davis has flying fingers on the keyboard and plays with passion and vibrance. He played my piano at a Whisperings Solo Piano Radio concert this past July, and it was a joy to watch and hear him play some of the selections from this album. The audience loved him!

The album title comes from the Native American name for Mt. Rainier, and the cover photo is of this majestic mountain in Washington. My favorite track is the closing one, “Soul of the Storm,” which Davis performed to end his set at the Whisperings concert. He said that thunder storms can be scary and strangely beautiful, so he set out to write a piece that was kind of scary but strangely beautiful. He definitely succeeded with this piece, which is fast, flashy, and a real charge to listen to. I doubt that anyone would ever fall asleep to this one! “Positive Altitude” is about “the triumphant exhilaration of conquering a peak and enjoying the mountaintop experience.” The joy and thrill of that experience comes through clearly. “Dance In My Heart” and “Song In My Heart” are a fascinating juxtaposition in that they both use the same theme. The first piece is fast and flashy, and is about feeling silly, excited, and free enough to do a happy dance; the second is a soulful ballad full of romance and love. “A Simple Reflection” is also a beautiful, gently flowing piece played from the heart. “Swiftwater” has a strong energy but is also very graceful. “Grove of the Patriarchs” is much darker and more mysterious, and tells of walking through a grove of some of the tallest fir trees on earth. The title track is another favorite. Graceful and flowing, it elegantly describes what Davis calls one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Tahoma is a very enjoyable listening experience, and showcases many aspects of Scott D. Davis’ playing and composing style. The energy and joy in Davis’ music is very palpable, and I think he has a very successful future coming - especially as a live performer. “Tahoma” is available from www.inspiringpiano.com and cdbaby.com.
September 21, 2004
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