3

Rebecca Harrold: The River of Life

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Rebecca Harrold: The River of Life 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.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "A Zoology of the Future" CD/LP/Track Review A Zoology of the Future
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute To Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute To Jimmy Van Heusen
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987" CD/LP/Track Review Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987
by John Kelman
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Work Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Work Songs
by Mark F. Turner
Published: March 1, 2016
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Jim Olin
Published: June 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!