Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

3

Rebecca Harrold: The River of Life

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist/composer Rebecca Harrold is a single-handed reminder of the charms of early "new age" piano music while, at the same time, taking it to a different, more melodically complex level, on her debut, The River Of Life, a spiritually inspired collection of original compositions. Harrold has had her thumb in many musical pies, including the female a cappella group Faith In Action, for whom she sang and composed, and serving as the pianist for the Boston Ballet. Her bona fides are as impressive as they are solid.

With the continuing atomization of musical genres into ravenous entities, the designation "new age" means less today than when it was originally coined 40 years ago. All genre designations are becoming obsolete quickly but, as flawed humans, many like pigeon holes and so this is where The River Of Life falls. But this music is a generation separated from George Winston, David Lanz and Michael T. Jones. Harrold retains the melodic simplicity of the early genre while elaborating on the harmonic and rhythmic elements. What makes this music so accessible is this simplicity. The music is readily understood and enjoyed. Harrold's contribution to the genre is a greater dramatic effect realized through her ability to color her playing.

The opening "Photograph" illustrates this with augmentation by violinist Charlie Bisharat and guitarist Will Ackerman (the one piece on which he plays). Harrold effects a repeating seven-note figure that is the foundation for the song and the harmonic basis for the solo instrument accompaniment.

This is music that stirs the spirit deep because of its completely digested and assimilated character, emphasized in Harrold's crystalline, yet warm, playing. The title piece is a ballad of quiet momentum, one reminiscent of Harrold's river of life and that of the Revelator: "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal." That is what Rebecca Harrold achieves here.

Track Listing: Photograph; We Belong Together; G.O.D.; The River Of Life; Without You; Another Time, Another Place; Mourning Dove; Gotta Never Give Up; Sentimental roll; Say You Won’t; Majesty; Willow Tree; One My Own.

Personnel: Rebecca Harrold: piano, compositions; Will Ackerman: guitar (1); Tony Levin: bass; Richard Gates: bass (10); Jeff Haynes: percussion; Tom Eaton: percussion (3, 8); Jill Haley: English horn; Premik tubbs lyricon, soprano saxophone; Charlie Bisharat: violin; Eugene Friesen: cello; Penni Lane: vocals.

Title: The River of Life | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Aleka" CD/LP/Track Review Aleka
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "The Many Minds of Richie Cole" CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Alma Matters" CD/LP/Track Review Alma Matters
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Secret Language" CD/LP/Track Review Secret Language
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Lucille" CD/LP/Track Review Lucille
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "I Am" CD/LP/Track Review I Am
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 13, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!