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Songbook Review: Reflections
Earl Johnson
Cover image of the songbook Reflections by Earl Johnson
Earl Johnson
2020 / Earl Johnson
76 pages / 15 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Reflections sheet music book is the companion songbook to Earl Johnson's 2014 solo piano album by the same name. This was the first of Earl's three albums (so far), and I have reviewed his albums and songbooks in the reverse order with the newest one, Dawn (2021), first. That said, I think Earl's music started out as really good, but has gotten markedly better with each album. Available as printed books, digital downloads, and individual pieces to download, the book contains all fifteen of Earl's original compositions from the album. He intentionally composed the music in fourteen different keys, avoiding his favorite at the time, C minor. The pieces vary quite a bit in length and style, from bluesy jazz to soothing to almost hypnotic. They range in difficulty from fairly easy to upper-intermediate/early-advanced. A piano teacher in the Los Angeles area, Earl started his own piano lessons at the age of 12 and studied music theory and harmony in college. I just recently discovered his music and he is one of my favorite "new" artists!

The songbooks include a short bio and "Composer's Notes," with an introduction to the album, "fun facts" about the music, and information about each piece. These all provide insight into the music as well as letting us get to know a bit about the composer. The sheet music itself is well-spaced and easy to read, and metronome settings are included at the beginning of each piece. There are a few reaches of over an octave, but not many.

The printed books are available from Amazon as part of their "on demand" system. This isn't my favorite binding, but these books stay open on the piano a lot better than they used to. Digital downloads of the books and individual pieces are available from EarlJohnsonPiano.com.

The titles of the pieces, the key(s) they are in, and the number of pages are:

A Small Prayer - Key of E (4 sharps) - 3 pages
Meadow Falls - Key of G (1 sharp) - 5 pages
Per Diem - Key of F# minor / A (3 sharps) - 5 pages
Solitaire - Key of G (1 sharp) - 5 pages
Diamond Keys - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 5 pages
Rumination - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 5 pages
Piano Painting - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 5 pages
The Clock Tower - Key of Eb minor (6 flats) - 6 pages
Street Lights - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 3 pages
Odyssey - Key of Bb minor (5 flats) - 4 pages
Shard of Glass - Key of Db/ Bb minor (5 flats) - 5 pages
Nightfall - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 4 pages
Serenity Lake - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 4 pages
The Man With the Echo - Key of E/C# minor (4 sharps) - 5 pages
Catching Grace - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 4 pages
September 21, 2022
More reviews of Earl Johnson songbooks
Cover image of the songbook Dawn by Earl Johnson