Saturday, December 3, 2011

CD Review – A Delicate Joy, by David Nevue

This album marks pianist David Nevue’s first collection of mostly original compositions in over five years, and it has been well worth the wait.

The CD contains twelve Nevue-penned tracks and two adaptations/rearrangements of traditional tunes. But they all flow smoothly one after another and equally display Nevue’s talent for balancing virtuosity, elegance, taste, and restraint.

The result is an album that is an absolute delight to listen to. There is no single track or group of tracks that I found myself wanting to skip to and play over and over. They all fall easily on the ears. However, if I could only listen to one track, it would be Nevue’s masterful interpretation of “Jesu Joy Canon in D.” Also, “The Garden Swing,” “Just Because I Love You,” “Hand in Hand” and “Goodnight Sweet Angel” are particularly affecting.

A truly amazing aspect of not only this CD but also Nevue’s music in general is the fact that he does not write or notate any of his original compositions or covers of other people’s works. He plays everything by ear and memory.

This wouldn’t be so remarkable if this was jazz improvisation, where general thematic and chord structures usually serve as a launching pad for free-form solos. However, every one of Nevue’s originals or covers is intricate and detailed, especially a piece such as “Jesu Joy Canon in D,” making Nevue’s prowess on the piano even that more extraordinary.

Whether you are a piano aficionado or a casual listener, this is one album that can be enjoyed by fans of all musical persuasions.

--Raj Manoharan

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