Alex Clements: Emily's Song (2007)
Pianist/composer Alex Clements handles the freedom admirably on Emily's Song, a set of eight original tunes that were inspired by people (a son, a daughter) and events in his life, plus three well-chosen covers.
Clements' influences seem to come from the gentler, more introspective group of pianists, those with a light touch and a taste for nuance and pretty melodies: Bill Evans, Jan Garbarek, Keith Jarrett. His playing reveals a tenderness, a romantic and introspective world viewthe type of sound an inattentive listener can take for lightweight stuff. But Emily's Song can't be dismissed in that fashion; there's too much depth and beauty and on-the-sleeve emotion here.
These are sounds that are, start to finish, captivating, and the pianist seems particulary inspired on Gershwin's "I Loves You Porgy," a flexible but loving exploration of the classic; while his original "Dinner for Two" has a prickly tone and gathering tension; and he plays Michel Legrand's "You Must Believe in Spring" with a lush, lilting gorgeousness on this top-notch solo piano outing.
Track Listing: A Song for Ethan; Inspired By...; Emily's Song; Pieces of Dreams; Dinner for Two; I Loves You Porgy; You Must Believe in Spring; Waltz for Peace.
Personnel: Alex Clements: piano.
Record Label: Self Produced