Deeply reflective piano beauty Alan Matthews – DENIAL’S END: When I reviewed Alan’s totally unique debut CD, “The Ineffable“, it was clear that his deeply reflective piano beauty is exclusive to him… he is an artist you will want (no, need) to “keep your ears on“… when he returned to Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios for his second album, the compositions and performances were even more deeply moving than on the debut. You’ll realize that as soon as you listen to his duet with our favorite flugelhorn player, Jeff Oster, on “Can’t Make It Right” (no samples yet, I’ll add them when I’m told the album has gone live)… what really stands out on this 4:11 tune is the excellent pacing… notes carefully crafted to mesh with the horn, yet in the overall, the piece sounds like it’s totally spontaneous.
Tom Eaton’s bass and Jill Haley’s English horn against Alan’s keyboard on “The Long Road Home” will give you feelings of both sadness and rediscovery… I believe this 5:20 masterpiece will be getting huge airplay on all sorts of stations around the globe; in fact, that’s part of the genius in Alan’s compositions on this second album… it’s impossible to “lump” or “pigeonhole” his works into any category… they are – “human experience brought to you through music“!
“Acceptance…And After” features Will Ackerman on guitar and Jeff Oster after a long and beautiful piano introduction from Alan… what I just loved about this particular recording is that Will and Jeff are mixed in so subtly… you must actually LISTEN carefully to realize the genius of the piece… do it with your HEADPHONES on if you really want to feel the hope it conveys.
Of the dozen songs offered up for your aural enjoyment, it is (without question) the title track, “Denial’s End”, that got my vote for personal favorite… again, a part of the attraction the tune holds for me is Alan’s exquisite pacing… nothing is hurried, and every note brings a sense of the light that can come into your life with music that the artists FEEL… if any song should be considered for an award – it is THIS one!
I give Alan and the players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of a perfect 5.00… which means that it also get my “PICK” for “most sensitively played album” for 2019. Though the album isn’t quite ready for release, Check Alan’s CD Baby page to get more information as it becomes available.
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