Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Long Road By Monica Logani

The Long Road
Monica Logani
Written by
Steve Sheppard

I remember the refrains of Monica Logani’s Secret Garden gently caressing my mind’s eye a few summers hence, and it is a delight to now have the opportunity to once more visit this realm of piano based pleasure, this time entitled The Long Road.

When one looks at the track listening it does indeed become evident that we are about to embark upon a musical voyage of many emotions, this 15 track offering has indeed been inspired by a friend of the artist who has since passed, but offered much motivation and passion along her beam.

Many of Logani’s pieces are short form, but each composition is like walking through an art gallery of a multitude of emotive moments of inspiration, for example we start with Birds, this is such a moving way to begin, the minor chord structures are deeply touching.

The following offering is Daybreak, this piece offers up a composition that literally does what it says on the can, and Monica’s performance here gives us all something we truly need now more than ever, hope.

The main inspiration came from this lady, Juliette. Now even though the album is described as Solo Piano, don’t let that fool you as contained within this track is some of the most sensitive string based work I have heard for quite some time,  one that manifests a wonderfully poignant offering.

We now come across a piece entitled Poette, the performance on this piece by the artist is pristine and incredibly gentle, and at times, almost lullaby in context. This flows us beautifully into the following narrative named Temporality, within the structure of this offering one will find a haunting quality to revel in, perhaps a juxtaposition between the fabric of life itself.

The guitar of Greg Zubowicz opens up the doorway to this next offering by Logani with a carefully played segment, one that then allowed the pianist to bring in a level and depth of such clarity and colour into the performance on the composition we now know as Mantra.

Nestled nicely towards the pivotal point of the album is the title track, The Long Road is a masterful composition of great emotion and intent. This multi-faceted track offers us the overall picture of the album in an amazing three and a half minutes plus, a powerful presentation that reminds us of the classic years of new age piano, a time filled full of hopes and dreams and many long roads yet to be taken.

With one tentative step into the second half of the album we come across a track so bathed in memory and the past that it is quite touching. This little gem is called Storyteller, this one for me is a reflection of all that is, and has been, good in the world of solo piano over those sparkling golden years.

A small offering here but vast in its own realm, as we come across the piece Space, the string section is so purposeful and calming and one that smoothly transports us into another composition of great beauty, in the piece entitled Dreamer. This is one of those types of songs that could be easily adapted to contain lyrics; its lullaby energy is also played with such a level of light and kindness by Logani.

Valencia has such a colourful and rich European motif to it that is so charming, Logani brings us a multi-instrumental track with the guitar of Zubowicz giving us that little extra Latin magic.

There was an almost mysterious energy about the track entitled Devotion, the magical sense of the musical narrative was extremely compelling, and made this offering for me, one of the standout pieces off the release, one that because of its powerful tones and almost global fused melodies, is one I shall be visiting again many times over.

We now drift into the deeper waters of the release as we come to this emotional composition that is entitled Savior. The deep and soul searching performance here is quite poignant in its construction, and one that will doubtless touch your hearts as well.
Our penultimate composition is the passion filled Summer's End, another stirring but tender performance, played with such a yearning to stop time and never forget the moment your currently in, but with a tear in the eye knowing that is impossible; this one moved me so much that I have now played it four times in a row.

We now must part ways and we do that with such an emotional, short form offering entitled The Last Embrace. Almost the brother of the preceding offering and one composition that fades away with the inevitability of life’s short passage; but a very clever work can be found here, thanks to the crafted performance there is an aspect of hope built into the weave of the song, one that is simply perfect way to end the album indeed.

The Long Road by Monica Logani is a truly beautiful masterpiece of moving musical constructs, a deeply emotive, yet wonderfully inspiring collection of delightful performed pieces. This is an album that pulled me in and never let me leave until the last note, and only really good albums can do that. In my view, her best work so far and one played and performed with her heart firmly on her sleeve, full marks Monica Logani.

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