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Album Review: A Year in the Life
Tom Salvatori
Cover image of the album A Year in the Life by Tom Salvatori
A Year in the Life
Tom Salvatori
2013 / Salvatori Productions, Inc.
48 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
A Year In the Life is the first solo acoustic guitar album from Tom Salvatori in quite a few years. He has recently collaborated with British pianist/composer Iris Litchfield on two albums, When Evening Falls (2007) and Ever Ever On (2010), but this time he is on his own. Twelve of the thirteen original compositions are designated for specific months, with the thirteenth for New Year’s Eve. As would be expected, the moods of the pieces vary from month to month, but the overall feel of the album is somewhat subdued and introspective. An accomplished classical guitarist, Salvatori’s own compositions follow classical traditions, but rather than being “showy,” he prefers a more relaxing and soothing approach that people can unwind with as they listen. The sound quality of the recording is beautiful and intimate.

Appropriately enough, A Year in the Life opens with “Resolutions.” Light and optimistic, the piece conveys the feelings of making a fresh start as well as hope for the future. The shortest month has the shortest song, as “Wouldn’t It Be Great” clocks in at just over a minute. Warm and conversational, an idea is being shared with someone trusted. The gentle but melancholy “Evening Waltz” (April) feels very much like late-night musings while working through the cares of the day. “Springtime Suite in E Minor” (May) is an ambitious four-movement piece. The first movement, “Impressions of Satie,” is rather dark and forlorn; the second, “Yes Riffin’” is much lighter and more playful; “Turtle Crawl” is kind of an extension of the second movement with some changes in mood and direction; and “Sad Ending” is, well, sad, but very beautiful - a favorite. I love the title “Head Fake, Low Shot” (June), but I don’t know what it means! “Waiting On Tomorrow” (August) has a folk-rock feeling in some places and an introspective, haunting quality in others. “Father Time is Calling” (September) conveys a sense of urgency but is also playful - an interesting dichotomy! “Reminiscing” (November) is dreamy but somber and hurting - possibly another late night soul-searching set to music. I really like this one, too! “Almost Christmas” (December) is lighter and cleverly incorporates snippets of “Good King Wenceslas,” “O Tannenbaum,” and “Deck the Halls.” “Turning Into New Year’s Day” is warmly reflective as one year ends and another begins, bringing this lovely album to a close with a sigh.

A Year in the Life provides a gentle soundtrack to your own reflections, daydreams, and other quiet moments. It is available from salvatoriproductions.com, Amazon,
iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!
November 18, 2013
This review has been tagged as:
Guitar music
More reviews of Tom Salvatori albums
Cover image of the album Ever Ever On by Tom Salvatori
with Iris Litchfield
Kathy's Favorites: 2010
Cover image of the album When Evening Falls by Tom Salvatori
with Iris Litchfield
Kathy's Favorites: 2007