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Greg Sherman - 2008 - "The Road Home"

(66:19, Dreaming Records)


****+
                 
TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Seeds of Faith 3:50
2.  The Journey 4:55
3.  This Hand That's Mine 4:08
4.  Bohemian Fantasy 3:05
5.  Just to See You Shine 6:01
6.  Out of the Darkness 5:40
7.  Somewhere Along the Road 6:29
8.  Kathy's Dreams 4:44
9.  Maybe an Angel 3:15
10. Approaching Dawn 7:37
11. You Were There 4:38
12. Empty Sky 5:26
13. Don't Look Back 5:41

LINEUP:

Greg Sherman  piano
Paul Black  percussion 
With:
Jeff Sherman  guitar (5)

Prolusion. Based in California, US, Greg SHERMAN is a veteran keyboard player. He started out in the progressive rock band Glass in the late 60's, and although the band broke up in 1979, they got together again some twenty years later, still going strong to this day. "The Road Home" is the second solo release by Greg Sherman, following eight years after his debut "Zutique".

Analysis. I'm a rather liberal person when it comes to the music I like, which is fortunate in this case. Not that the music explored on this release is weird, eerie or in other ways unpleasant rather it is the complete opposite. The songs are beautifully performed, some of the compositions being of high quality, and even the production sounds rather good. However, instrumental music that is strongly dominated by piano has never been my forte and that is just what is being served on this release. I have to admit that I like this stuff, though. The tunes are played in a manner that comes across as a mixture of jazz, classical, rock and pop, and my impression is that the elements from pop and rock music dominate. I could be mistaken in that, though, as I'm not a musician; my assumption is due to the fact that I can easily imagine what these tunes would sound like on the guitar. The performance seems to be a high quality one; there is warmth and richness to the tones from Sherman's piano that can't be the result of good production alone. One of the main elements creating this full sound is the way Sherman has complete control in determining which tones to give a stronger impact to than others, and the skill in utilizing the resonance following that impact by inserting gentler and softer melodic segments in fact creating small fragmented melodies within a main melody or theme. It's a style that I gather takes some skill to perform, as the difference between the solid emphasized impact and the dampened, fragile one is one of details in execution. The pieces, gently flowing and exploring musical landscapes with mostly subtle and minor differences between them, are fascinating, although more beautiful than intriguing as such. The addition of percussion to several tunes helps to create some variation to the compositions, but not quite enough as I see it. The main weakness on this release is that these pieces are too similar in compositional texture. Although there are quite a few elements adding variation, the overall style of playing results in tunes so similar in expression that it is a tad difficult separating them from one another. When that is said, the songs are good; and as weakness goes, this one is more for the album as a whole rather than directed at the individual compositions.

Conclusion. Fans of instrumental piano music should check this one out. The skilled performance and the gentle and mostly beautiful melodies should have a strong appeal in general, and the relaxing nature of the songs on this album might make it interesting for people into meditation and relaxation routines, too.

OMB: Agst 1, 2008
The Rating Room


Related Links:

Musea Records
Greg Sherman


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