Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Lasting Impressions By Lisa Swerdlow

Lasting Impressions
Lisa Swerdlow
Written by
Steve Sheppard

Lisa Swerdlow has been producing a plethora of beautiful music lately, and the singles charts in particular have been adorned with some wonderful compositions from her from this release, so it is with glee that we see a new album from the artist, and Lasting Impressions is an album that will indeed last long in the minds of the followers of really good music.

The starting point is the dramatic yet melodic Listening from the Heart (solo) version, here is the perfect place to start, with a full flowing musical narrative and a performance on piano that is not only classy, but quite moving as well.

Slipping into Dreams certainly has that feel to it, that one is sliding into a night time reality of sleeping thoughts, imaginings so grand and poignant, visions of the mind that are perhaps bathed in the realms of fantasy. As you may gather this is my favourite piece off the album; Swerdlow’s performance here is really crafted and intelligently played, and presented in a way that it is really hard to leave the piece.

Dreams in Motion continues our sojourn through the reveries of the artist and listener, this truly moving opus plays with the heart strings as the performance grows. There is a certain grand nature to this offering that I personally found extremely attractive.

We now have to ask ourselves the question. Was It All A Dream? This thoughtful work is the conclusion to the preceding ones, there is a sensitive refrain here that is appealing, one that was so delightfully played to bring the very best from the arrangement by the artist.

As we speak, Dawn Contemplation is one of my favourite singles to walk within from the album; it has a certain dramatic flair and a cinematic posture that is not only powerful, but exhilarating, whilst Still Here is almost the exact opposite, yet at the same time still retaining some of the passion. The narrative here is calming and soothing as it unfurls.

A sumptuous string section joins Swerdlow’s piano on the track Pentimento. This adds a wonderful layered texture to the piece. Swerdlow’s performance on piano is both influential and commanding, and on a track that has a truly strong foundation.

Now we can slide right into the arms of the title track and another one of my favourite pieces entitled, Lasting Impressions. There is a slight European motif here that is delicious, and the light but pertinent percussion is perfect too, lets add some eventual strings as well, which makes the overall performance, at times, almost classical with a little Jazz, in what is a simply tapestry of musical craft at it’s very best.

The penultimate offering is the orchestrated version of the opening piece Listening from the Heart. Adding in a symphonic element to the arrangement is a stroke of genius, and the mark of a musician who clearly has an ear for what works.

We’re a long way off, but this is going to go on a seasonal playlist, the ending composition is entitled Sing Me of Winter. This is actually a really clever piece and the perfect way to end the album. The melody is deeply memorable and for a track about winter, the compositional structure is really very beautiful and emotive at times, but in an extremely happy way.

Lasting Impressions by Lisa Swerdlow is a delightful mixture of solo piano and the neo-classical, a pastiche of truly good music all brought together on one release! The ever eager listener will love this and in my view, it was one of the most listenable albums of its style for quite some time; Swerdlow’s interpretations and performances are blissful, beautifully played and colourfully portrayed, which makes it extremely easy to recommend.

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