You may have noticed a great deal of recent music has been a response to the isolation, apprehension, and even dread let loose by Covid-19 and our turbulent politics. Small wonder. Many otherwise well-informed people have given up on reading newspapers. You sympathize. It is all too unsettling.
For many, music is a refuge. It would be surprising if no one reading this has not said "Enough. I need some peace." How you define peace in music is eminently subjective. For some it may be Ornette Coleman
. For others, Ravel. Strictly a matter of de gustibus
. You may well turn to both. You are not alone.
If you hear echoes of Abbey Simon playing Ravel, you are not necessarily incorrect. Marcos Ariel
is a Brazilian pianist whose roots are in the classical repertoire. The entirely appropriate, if overdone question, "how is this jazz" inevitably arises. You may commune with the spirits of Woody Herman
or Artie Shaw
, or Benny Goodman
. Whether they were looking for harmonies, ideas, precursors, anticipations, or even validation, they turned to Stravinsky and Mozart. Bach, famously was an improviser. As the saying goes, get over it.
This collection of simple, original melodies for piano may not be "jazz." That depends on your eyes and sensibilities. For some music is music, and Ariel's intention, to bring peace and tranquility to a very disorderly world, is clearly successful. For those who approach the classical repertoire the way some folks approach wine, with fear, trepidation, and "Don't I need a course in this stuff?" think of Ariel as a relatively painless way of approaching what might otherwise intimidate you. This is music rooted in the nineteenth century repertoire. It is good for the soul when the soul requires rest, and deliberately so. If that is what you are looking for, you will find it here. And very well done.
Passionflower; Narcissus; Bougainvillea; Plumeria; Lantana; Chrysanthemum; Fuchsia; Orchid; Calla Lilly.