Piano-Heaven Award Winner:

Almost Home

Michael Jones

Pianoscapes

  2006

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The release of a new Michael Jones CD is always something to savour, and this is one exceptional piece of work from Canada's finest pianist. Having severed his ties with Narada back in 2002, this is Michael's second CD to be released independently on his own Pianoscapes label. The move has given him more artistic freedom, and this shows from the very first track.

 

'Almost Home' is a wonderful collection of seven piano solos based on the poetry of Walt Whitman. It is my thirteenth CD by Michael Jones, but there is nothing unlucky about this purchase; it is right up there with the very best.
 

The CD opens with the beautiful 'Song for the Open Road'. This fourteen minute piece invites the listener on a meandering journey; a journey that I would be happy to make every time. Just as Whitman's poems are split into verses, so, in a way, is this track, with subtle differences to the carefully trained ear. Melodic and inviting, I really enjoy listening to this piece, the opening of which has a hymn-like quality. The reader can hear this track in its entirety by clicking the link (below right).

 
The second track is my particular favourite. 'A Child Went Forth' has a mournful opening, but soon changes into the most delightful piece. It becomes majestic, and the music has a joyful feel to it from around the fifth minute- you can almost tell Michael enjoys playing this one! It has one of those parts, reminiscent of the highlight of 'Song for Eia' that the listener just does not want to end.   
 
'I Hear the Earth Singing' is a beautiful title, and how apt it is for another of my favourite tracks. It has a playful quality; one can almost hear the birds singing and the ducks splashing, enjoying the gifts of nature.

'Wanderings of a Restless Soul', 'Wings on the Wind' and 'Almost Home' are all compositions of the highest quality. Michael has a uniquely special touch on the Grand Piano. No other composer plays with such delicacy and feeling, and these qualities shine through in the above pieces.

The CD's closing track, 'A World Made Fresh Again' is an exceptional piece. The opening reminds me a little of 'After the Rain', but it soon goes on its own magical journey. The title implies that all is right with the world again, and the music certainly captures the optimism and positive tone that this would bring. It is a lovely way to close the CD.

Michael Jones has a unique style. His music embraces the listener with its beauty and tranquillity. Each piece tells a different story.

In the rushed world of the 21st. century where everything is split into bite-size chunks, it is so refreshing to find a musician who is not afraid of telling his story in the way he chooses. The listener can immerse themselves in the music, travelling along on the musical journey, and the end result is unforgettable.

 

'Almost Home' was recorded on a Bosendorfer 225 Grand Piano in Orillia, Ontario during the Spring of 2005.

At over 72 minutes in length, there is plenty on offer for lovers of relaxing piano music here.

 

'Almost Home' is a splendid CD, and one to which I have no hesitation in giving my highest recommendation. It is to be hoped that Michael is not 'Almost Home' with his music, but instead will have plenty of musical journeys for his listeners to make for years to come.

S.C.

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Jones Music CDs - Listen

Almost Home

Michael Jones

 

Michael Jones

 

Listen to

the entire first track:

Song for the Open Road

(14:03)

Click the piano