Sunday, January 16, 2011

CD Review – Dreaming Still, by Kathryn Kaye

Dreaming Still, the appropriately named debut album from pianist Kathryn Kaye, could very well be the soundtrack to a dream: it’s lyrical, beautiful, and, well, dreamy.

The compositions are simple yet elegant, much like Kaye’s brilliantly understated piano playing, which is tinged with the gracefulness of the hymns she learned during her Appalachian upbringing. She makes full use of the keyboard, anchoring soaring melodies in rich, deep chords, and yet manages to keep it all reigned in and prevent it from becoming overbearing or overwhelming. The result is a pleasant listening experience that is perfect for both intellectual stimulation and emotional refuge.

Kaye is backed on this recording by a solid lineup of musicians including Charlie Bisharat on violin, Eugene Friesen on cello, Dan Greenspan on bass, Jill Haley on English horn, Derrik Jordan on percussion, and Noah Wilding on vocals. The Grammy Award-winning team of producer Will Ackerman and recording engineer Corin Nelsen brings a polished sheen to the proceedings, resulting in a crisp, crystal-clear sound that practically puts listeners up close with the musicians in the studio.

Dreaming Still will leave piano music aficionados, as well as casual music listeners, in a positively blissful, dreamy state of mind.

--Raj Manoharan

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