the adage that 'less is more', Karen Marie Garrett
has released an EP album consisting of five new
compositions- her first release of new music in
eight years. I was a great fan of her previous two
of Sanctuary' and 'It's
About the Rose')- both Piano-Heaven award winners- so I was
naturally curious to hear what this indisputably gifted
composer had up her sleeve on this occasion.
The CD opens
with my favourite track, 'Abbie Marie'. The
combination of piano and cello has always been a
match made in heaven for me, and this beautiful
track amply illustrates the special relationship
between the two instruments. It features the very
talented Emil Miland on cello. Karen's piano playing
is always gentle yet rhythmic, and oh-so-appealing.
It is a stunning piece, and one that I could happily
listen to time and time again.
Love', the title track, again features Karen and
Emil working together to create another masterful
composition. The music is sombre at times, yet
exudes beauty. The music is heart-felt, and played
with such feeling and intimacy.
Track three is
entitled 'Deschutes River Sunrise'. Karen is
accompanied by the legendary Nancy Rumbel on oboe,
and Emil returns to add considerable passion to the
piece with her cello. It is another lovely track.
The only solo
piano piece, 'Another Time', is a highlight. Karen's
signature style of playing is none more evident than
here. At times gentle, at others majestic and
uplifting, the piece is a joy to listen to from
start to finish.
The EP album
concludes with 'Mother's Prayer'. Exquisite piano
playing takes centre-stage for the opening half, and
is then accompanied by Desiree Goyette with wordless
vocals. I enjoyed the addition of the human voice,
but I would also love to hear this as a piano-solo.
Garrett has produced an outstanding EP album which
consistently hits the mark. She has had an enforced absence
from the composing scene due to a small heart attack
and a serious condition called carpal tunnel
syndrome that rendered her hands unable to play the
piano properly. However, any lingering
doubts that the composer may have lost her touch are
dispelled from the opening notes of the first track,
and it soon becomes apparent there there is a
certain maturity and sophistication about this
album. The music is refined and classy without being
pompous. The collaboration between the composer and
the other musicians works wonders, and the recording quality is
top-notch. 'It's About Love' was recorded at the
famous Skywalker Sound Studios in California, and
was produced by Leslie Ann Jones. It is worth noting
that Karen has found true love again, and I rather
suspect that the title alludes to this. I would
imagine also the tracks have been heavily influenced
by this happy event.
About Love', each track is a standout, and the
album heralds a most welcome return to the music
scene for this exceptionally talented composer. This
reviewer certainly hopes there is plenty more to
come from the KMG stable!
give 'It's About Love' my highest recommendation.