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Solo piano recordings of all-original music often bear the burden of being dumped in the same genre bin with George Winston, Jim Brickman and David Lanz. For Portland, Oregon native Alan Adams, this would not be only unfair, it would be unfortunate. Music this finely crafted and wrought was made not only to be listened to but heard and enjoyed, both actively and passively.
My Notes is a collection of fourteen Adams original compositions with a decidedly "New" Western disposition. His theme titles are all turn-of-the-(last)-century inspired, that inspiration not leading to lovingly hewn period music, but an updated frontier soundtrack that is both dense and expansive.
The disc opens with "Come Hear the Gospel"pastoral, without being gospel or blues-based. Adams favors octave runs and modulations using both hands, to achieve a rich orchestral effect. His compositions generally have two or more sections, resolving themselves with the respective introductory sections. "Chuck Wagon" and "High Chaparral" sport lengthy single-note runs before settling in to their groove.
The introverted pieces ("Some Gave Their All" and "Memories of my Parents") are tactically present in their shifting rhythms. Adams obviously plans plans his pieces and then plays them, going where they go. Not exactly improvisationand certainly not New Age noodling. This is easy music to listen to and enjoy, easily considered and understood.
Track Listing: Come Hear the Gospel; Chuck Wagon; High Chaparral; Some Gave Their
All; Rodeo; The Hunt For the Hideous Ogre; My Notes; Table For One;
Memories of My Parents; Texas; The Night My Father Passed Away; I
Miss Them; Frontier West; Cattle Roundup.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.