Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Winds of Change by Denise Young

Winds of Change
Denise Young
Written by
Steve Sheppard

I had to do it didn’t I, I just couldn’t resist taking a peak, and then with a sharp intake of breath, could it really be 6 years and some since my last Denise Young fix with the album Passionata, but it was and I am therefore absolutely delighted today to be reviewing her latest work Winds Of Change, so my fix has been satisfied.

The beauty of this album cannot be hidden and we will indeed explore every nook and cranny of this amazing new release, starting with the first offering entitled Under the Olive Tree, well this is something we have plenty of in Cyprus; this track flows like a summer afternoon sitting under one, tips of the musical hats must go to Germaine Booker (Cello) and the quite brilliant Tavi Jinariu on Classical Guitar, both of which manifest a total stand out track along with the skills of the maestro Denise Young, on this proud opener.

The following offering has a somewhat European flavour to it in my view; the smooth and flowing performance on piano by Young is breathtakingly beautiful, as is the quite emotive Cello presentation by Booker.  Ballerina is a piece that dances to its own tune with a pristine sense of movement, one that indeed expresses feelings of great emotion and passion.

The following musical narrative has a sense of the mournful about its repose, but one that tugs delightfully at the emotions too, and called Moonlit Heart.  The added vocalisations by Baraka May created a deeper dimension to get musically lost within; this was one very powerful performance by Young, a true moving opus of the heart, and one that also contained the Cello of Eugene Friesen as well.

This wonderful journey on piano is a pleasure to flow with, and we are going to do just that now with this next piece called Alegria. This is a beautifully bright and very organic offering from the artist, one that contains some wonderful instrumental work, hats off once more to Booker on Cello, but a classical performance by the wonderful Kevin Enstrom on guitar here sealed it, this track would become a personal favourite of mine, I’m guessing for a long time.

So we’re at the tipping point of the album where we find the title track, it is nestled comfortably at the midway point of the release. Winds of Change is another personal favourite, but almost anthem like in its construction; Young’s piano here is rich in texture and passion, and when you add the flute of David Weiss into the mix you bathe musically in genius, this is what music of this genre should be all about.
Teardrop Symphony is next, be prepared to be amazed, this is a wondrous work of art that truly needs to be admired, and given a hell of a lot of respect. Denise Young has such a deft touch on the piano within this graphic and moving composition, this creates a wide open canvas to allow a level of heart-felt orchestration like never before, please also pay close attention to the wonderful performance on French horn by Andre Bercellini.
The multi-dimensional nature of this track is simply transcendent, I have listened to it few times now and I am still noticing little nuances that I love more each time I do so. Reflections is such a clever track, it is almost like Young is playing in front of a looking glass mirror, and her reflection is playing right back at her.

We are now swimming into the deeper waters of the album and as we do so we come across a charming offering entitled Blue Violet. The melody here is delicious; it is one of those pieces you may well find yourself whistling to yourself later on without even realising you’re doing it. Note the consummate brilliance of Booker on Cello, and the sparkling performance of the one and only Charlie Bisharat on Violin is simply, and undeniably masterful.

Our penultimate musical gift is entitled Dannsa, a piece that in parts has a little almost folk styled ethic to its overall construction, one must applaud Young here, she plays with such energy and colour that it literally lights up the room, partner that with the radiating performance by Bisharat and you have a total winner of a track.

So six years has indeed flown by, but before Denise Young signs off this time, she has one more musical gift to allow us to take with us along on our way, and it is indeed the timeless Dandelions, listening to this offering would be like laying in a summer meadow and watching them dance in the winds of time; utterly captivating indeed, and the best possible way to leave the album with ease.

Winds of Change by Denise Young is an album that has been created by an artist who clearly is in-touch with her own musical muse; it is the tune that flies on the wings of a radiant butterfly, it is the harmonic vibration that lays with in each of our artistic souls, and it should be the very next album you purchase right after reading this review, trust me your heart will love you forever. For me personally I rate this to be the best work the artist has ever created, a real bar raiser, now please excuse me while I hit repeat once more.

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