Matthew Labarge highly personal solo piano Matthew Labarge – SPIRITI: My Google search revealed the following definition for the album title… “the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character“… so, if I interpret that literally, what Matthew is really doing for us with his latest solo piano album is sharing his character with us… he clearly displays tendencies towards the majestic on the 2:23 “Entrance“; simple, short, and full of beauty.
Any good solo pianist must be able to bring stories to life through the sonic images they paint for the listener, and one of the most vibrant sound pictures I’ve heard (yet) in 2017 is Matthew’s “Between The Stars“… when Matthew says on his website that “This is my most personal album to date“, it’s not just another “attention grabber”… it’s quite easy to imagine him watching the spaces between those stars the title speaks to, and more importantly, he knows just how to use (what I call) “pacing” to set the tones up so the listener can fill the spaces with their own memories and pictures… I just loved this piece.
It’s actually been a pretty good while since I reviewed his work, back in issue # 104, where he got good marks from me… now, as I sit here listening to my personal favorite of the dozen sonic adventures he’s created for your aural enjoyment, I can tell you that his talent just SHINES on this new release… the 7:09 length of “Kindness” provides ample space for Matthew’s soul to emerge and flood your ears with his vibrant and joyful tones… the keyboard he’s using (I’m not sure what make it is) is excellent, with grand overtones and rich chord amplification… ultimately, though, it’s his masterful touch as he weaves through all the feelings that kindness can bring that is the real brilliance of his work. I give Matthew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as well as a (perfect) “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 5.00… meaning that he also gets a “PICK” for “most alive solo piano album”. Lastly, let me say this… the songs on this album are certainly worthy of consideration for awards. Get more information on Matthew’s website. Rotcod Zzaj
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Thanks so much for the good words, Dick! I love the idea of the “improvised” review- I picture you as a modern day Kerouac typing furiously at his keyboard…
Matthew – thanks… you’re right, I like that image, too… & most of my reviews are (indeed) “improvised”… truly enjoyed your music, and (as always) thanks very much for your support!
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