2013 / Bearcreek Recordings
Review by Michael Debbage
We are closing in on a decade since Timothy Crane released his impressive solo debut The Other Life I Dream. While it took 6 years to create an even more impressive follow up effort entitled Dragonfly, the gap this time around was a mere 3 years. And good things come to those that wait, as Crane’s latest musical excursion Pianoforte continues to show a linear progression representing an artist that is growing in his composition capabilities and performing prowess.
The same team is in place with Crane composing and performing with a little help from Rick Henley’s acoustic guitar embellishments here and there, plus Jason Roswell and Ryan Day assisting Crane with the production and engineering details. So same players but is this Dragonfly Part 2? Listening to the rather reflective opening track “What Will I Be” would certainly suggest this, but this particular song acts almost like a mellow introduction to prepare us for a for more upbeat and vibrant Timothy Crane.
Featuring a total of twelve tracks, Pianoforte overall features more vivacious and energetic performances than its predecessors that are more in line with “Vasilissa The Beautiful” from the Dragonfly. Such clear evidence can be found on the lively performances such as “Awaken The Dream”, “Red Line” and even the slower but nevertheless ambitious “Soli Deo Gloria”. Best of all seek out the panoramic and colorful “Archetype” where the orchestration and guitar work of Henley merge perfectly with Crane’s piano work.
For those of you concerned about Crane losing his melodic and mellow sensibilities, do not be alarmed. The above stellar songs are equally melodic but are interfaced with the gorgeous reflective nuances that Crane is so capable of doing in his sleep. Seek out the flowing and refreshing tracks such as “Clear Creek” and “Hide And Seek” that bring to mind at times the influence of pianist Wayne Gratz. In fact, Crane concludes the album on a more reflective note courtesy of the peaceful “Stratford Road”.
While there are duplicate appearances as far as performer and production members, the same cannot be said for the actual musical experience. Crane’s latest musical adventure not only expounds on his musical performances but also shows an improved production. Yes, Pianoforte has elements of its predecessors such as the continued biblical reference on the artwork, but this time around Psalm 108:2-5 not only reflects the musician’s faith, but also includes the words awaken and exalted that would accurately parallel the key ingredients of Pianoforte. Come witness the exponential growth of Timothy Crane. You will not be disappointed.
March 2, 2013
Review by Kathy Parsons