Reflections Review (12/26/2011)
by Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com
Reflections is the second album of original piano solos by John Paris, an artist whose career as a professional musician has spanned more than four decades. Trained in both classical and jazz piano, Paris was a member of the house band at Harrah’s Casino in Reno and played alongside many of the casino’s headliners. Calling his original music “New Age Jazz Fusion,” the fourteen pieces on Reflections are varied in mood and expression, taking the listener on a bit of a spiritual journey. The music was written to be “uplifting, healing, relaxing, and rejuvenating,” and Paris adds, “These pieces came to me spontaneously in a flash of inspiration. I simply open my heart to the Divine Sound Current and let my fingers express what comes through. The music combines New Age melodic sensibility with Jazz harmonies and rhythms to create a new sound.” Despite its complexities, the music is effortless and very easy to listen to both actively and in the background. Mastered at Piano Haven Studio near Seattle, WA, Joe Bongiorno’s engineering genius makes every note clear, clean, and warm.
Reflections begins with the title track, a beautifully pensive piece that creates a peaceful mood. The graceful, effortless melody can take the listener’s thoughts to a place of comfort and contentment while soothing away the tensions of the day. “Lonely Raindrop” is slow and uncomplicated, expressing wistful and bittersweet feelings of solitude – a favorite! “Cold Winter Night” picks up the tempo a bit and has a slightly mysterious edge. The middle section becomes playful and almost teasing, adding a bit of humor to the piece, and then returns to the original theme to the end. I really like this one, too! “Lady Moon” is a gorgeous ballad that could have been composed late at night by candlelight. Gentle musings convey a variety of thoughts and emotions coming from the heart and speaking the truth. “Early Morning” is light and optimistic with an infectious, carefree rhythm. “Swan Lake Serenade” evokes images of elegant white birds gliding on the surface of the water, graceful and at peace. “The Journey” is a fascinating piece that conveys many different emotions and experiences – a journey of the soul. “Lullaby of the Eternal Dreamer” closes this impressive album with blissful contentment. The gentle melody and flowing rhythm would soothe any dreamer to sleep!
John Paris promises at least one new album in 2012, and I’ll be looking forward to that event! Reflections is available from www.johnparismusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!