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Album Review: Sleepy Baby Suite
Wayne Gratz
Cover image of the album Sleepy Baby Suite by Wayne Gratz
Sleepy Baby Suite
Wayne Gratz
2003 / Wayne Gratz Music Production
47 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Longtime Narada pianist Wayne Gratz has produced Sleepy Baby Suite as an independent release from his own production company. Described as “calming piano music” inspired by the innocence and purity of a sleeping baby and by the joys of being a new parent, the minimalist piano solos are played over the sound of a “distant” Florida rainstorm (including chirping crickets or some other insects) that runs through all of the album except the first track. Designed for rocking a baby to sleep or to remember “the feeling of innocence we all once felt when we were sleepy babies,” this album was obviously meant to be used as background music, a long lullaby, and/or for deep relaxation. Personally, I have a very hard time keeping music in the background - I have to listen to it actively - so the very spare pieces aren’t nearly as interesting to me as Gratz’s other albums, and I find the chirping crickets to be a bit annoying at times. In the spirit of the intention of the album, I can’t imagine any living creature not being totally soothed or relaxed by this music. Very gentle with no edges at all, some of the music is played in the upper registers of the piano, hinting at the sound of a music box. I especially like “Imagination,” which seems more developed and composed where some of the other pieces are more improvised. Wayne Gratz has been one of my favorite composers for many years, so on a personal level, I’m a little disappointed in this album, but feel that Gratz succeeded very well in creating an incredibly soothing album that can act as a massage for the mind, melting away the cares and woes of a stressful world. With titles such as “Night Night Teddy,” “Blanket Angels”, and “Fairy Nice,” I doubt Gratz is going to be marketing this album to his usual audience. It is available from waynegratz.com.
October 31, 2003
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