Mike Garson: Conversations With My Family (2008)
Garson's piano rambles brightly when called for, as in his musical illustration "Blues for the Terrible Twos," and slows down passionately for the lullaby; when the sounds of strings and orchestra meld seamlessly with his cascading style.
Mixing tension with a more relaxed atmosphere in one brief piece, Garson and violinist Christian Howes drive "Play Nicely Together (Interaction)" with enthusiasm, while "Jenny's Waltz" mixes the same kind of dynamic vigor with a graceful flow that does the trio justice.
Lori Bell and Andreas Oberg join the piano trio for "Searching," which lets the ensemble roam comfortably as if on a family outing, the absence of tension (for the most part) making for a restful sojourn. Bell's flute and Oberg's guitar make suitable partners, leading to the wider definition of family: an extended group which succeeds in making art work its magic.
Track Listing: The Child Within; Interlude Part 1; Lullaby for Our Daughters; Interlude, Part 2; The Mystery and the Awe; Blues for the Terrible Twos; Interlude, Part 3; Longings; Interlude, Part 4; Trials and Revelations; Interlude, Part 5; Yearnings; Play Nicely Together (Interaction); Interlude, Part 6; Song for Susan; Interlude, Part 7; Searching; Interlude, Part 8; Miracle of Love (Hello Heather); Interlude, Part 9; Jenny's Waltz; Conversations With My Family.
Personnel: Mike Garson: piano; Bob Magnusson: double bass; Gary Novak: drums; Chris Howes: violin (5, 8, 13); Claudio Roditi: trumpet & flugelhorn (10, 19); Lori Bell: flute (17); Andreas Oberg: guitar (1, 17); others.
Record Label: Resonance Records
Style: Modern Jazz