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Songbook Review: Behind The Veil
Spencer Brewer
Cover image of the songbook Behind The Veil by Spencer Brewer
Behind The Veil
Spencer Brewer
2022 / Spencer Brewer Music
66 pages / 11 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Behind The Veil songbook is the companion sheet music collection for Spencer Brewer's 2023 album by the same name. Eleven of the twelve pieces from the album are included and were transcribed note-for-note to the recordings. ("Summertime" is the one missing piece, and that's because it was recorded as a piano and sax duet, and the piano doesn't carry much of the melody.) Although Spencer's music has been included in several collections of so-called "new age piano music," this is the first collection of only his music since his 1992 songbook published by Hal Leonard.

If you have seen Spencer perform live, you know that he is equally adept at his heartfelt, melodic pieces and his more up-tempo bluesy/jazz music. This collection tends to be on the mellower side, but a few of the pieces are livelier and more light-hearted. Three of the pieces ("Portraits," "Eden," and "Where We Used to Play") were in previous collections, but these are new arrangements - not the same versions that were in Hal Leonard's publications.

Don't let the term "mellow" fool you, though. Some of Spencer's rhythms and harmonies are quite complex. In other words, this isn't a sheet music book for beginners. If you are at an upper-intermediate/early advanced playing level (and beyond!), you'll find much to enjoy in this excellent songbook.

Printed songbooks are spiral-bound and available from Spencer's website and Bandcamp. An enlarged photo of one of Spencer's assemblage mandalas graces the front cover and looks great on the piano! The notation is roomy and easy to read. PDF files of individual pieces are available to download from both SheetMusicPlus.com and SheetMusicDirect.com.

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

Parasols in Paris - Key of Ab (4 flats)/ E (4 sharps) - 6 pages
And So It Goes... - Key of G (1 sharp) - 3 1/2 pages
Portraits - Key of C# (7 sharps) - 3 1/2 pages
Myths & Legends - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 7 pages
Together We Make One - Key of D (2 sharps) - 4 pages
Legend of Rene Anguiano - Key of A (3 sharps) - 9 pages
Behind the Veil - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 6 pages
Eden - Key of B minor (2 sharps)/ F# (6 sharps) - 3 1/2 pages
Remember When - Key of D (2 sharps)/ F (1 flat)/ Ab (4 flats) - 3 1/2 pages
Where We Used To Play - Key of C (0 sharps or flats)/ A (3 sharps) - 5 pages
Walls That Move - Key of C# minor (4 sharps) - 7 1/2 pages
March 1, 2023