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Album Review: LifeSongs
Tim Kucij
Cover image of the album LifeSongs by Tim Kucij
Tim Kucij
2003 / KRC Records
46 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Tim Kucij’s (pronounced “koochee”) LifeSongs is a very eclectic mix of piano solos ranging from “Jesus Loves Me” to “Bumble Boogie” and thirteen original pieces that are just as varied (eighteen tracks in all). Kucij has been a concert artist since the age of eleven, performing originally on the pipe organ, and his style is very classical and precise. Several tracks are in the ragtime style, and Kucij is one of the better contemporary ragtimers that I’ve heard in awhile. “The Happy Whistler” is a charming and peppy confection, true to the ragtime style and format, but more contemporary. “The Pulsar Rag” is also a lot of fun, and sounds a bit more “old-timey”. “The Bicentennial Rag” clearly demonstrates the joy in this form of solo piano music. “Dazzling Fingers” is more of a bluesy boogie - another fun piece. The cover tunes are the themes from “Love Story” and “Romeo and Juliet”, which are lovely arrangements, but both pieces have been recorded so many times that, at least for me, they have become kind of tired; “Jesus Loves Me”, a children’s Sunday School song, starts out simply and goes through several interesting variations; “Lament” by Frank Sanucci; and Jack Fina’s “Bumble Boogie”, which is one of my favorite pieces to play and teach. The other original pieces tend to be very structured and classical, and are of a more formal nature. I especially like “Images”, which has several themes, from a march to a more brooding ballad. My feeling is that, overall, this CD tries to cover too many different styles. I like an eclectic blend, but this one kind of overdoes it. Something as simple as leaving out a couple of the cover tunes might make a big difference in keeping the listening experience a bit more consistent. Kucij is an excellent pianist, and this collection is a good sampler of his many styles of playing and composing. LifeSongs is currently available at amazon.com, cdbaby.com, and iTunes.
April 5, 2003
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