The mood created by a solo pianist can be so deeply moving
and emotive, the creative artist can take you on a literal journey through the
power of creation and performance,
and that is exactly what Casey Crosby
has done for me this fine morning in March.
We start out with the gentle footfalls of the proud opening
composition, a 10 plus minute opus which of course is our title track Calix Meus Inebrians, this is one of
the most powerful pieces on the album, and Casey’s performance here truly
exemplifies that indeed his cup is running over with joy.
Reunion has a wonderful energy to its
manifestation, through the presentation one could imagine old friends
reuniting, perhaps even doing the one thing I cannot wait to do after the
pandemic, give someone a hug. The tone and essence of this piece is so warm and
friendly, a charming musical narrative indeed.
The curiously entitled Honey
in the Rock is a wonderfully upbeat and powerful composition that brings a
real vibrancy to the proceedings, the performance is brimming with energy and a
vibrancy which struggles to contains its joy; this would be one very fine
arrangement to watch performed live.
The following piece is one of the most artistic tracks I have
heard this year and entitled Wildflower.
I have just arrived back into my studio from my Zen Garden, and listening to
this I can imagine the leaves of the fig tree dancing with the wildflowers that
lay in my sun kissed rockery, this is one those tracks that is utterly timeless,
and it could go on forever and you would not mind in the slightest.
On the song Air we
find a slow but ever onward piece I think most might remember, the gentle and
extremely gifted presentation of this track is sublime and quite breath-taking
to listen to. I had just been listening to the classical version of this great
offering before I sat at my desk, so to get a double treat here is much
appreciated, and I am sure that one
Johann Sebastian Bach would give a tip of the hat to this interpretation of
his great work too.
The flavours change now and a song with a mystical offering
steps forward in the guise of Like The
Mist You Drift. There is a wonderful reflective mood here that I could sit
within for simply ages; there is also a hint of a Celtic reverie that hovers
around the arrangement, like a spirit of a long lost past, a beautifully
performed track, played with a heartfelt presentation on the keys.
Time to go long form again as we reach the mid-way point of
the album, and on Where the Red Fern
Grows, we can enjoy a moment in nature vicariously with the artist. The
careful attention to detail and the slow but steady build and progression,
which retains its serenity and overall ambience is joyful, the piece eventually
builds to a break out moment in the latter half of the track, one that creates
a real joyful dance moment within the performance, then soothes down allowing
us to fully appreciate the conclusion.
Saint Stephen's Day is a grand opus to enjoy, but the
genteelness of performance is much appreciated. The tenderness here is palpable
and the sensitivity of manifestation is so blissful to hear, this is without
doubt one of the most pristine and delicate presentations from the release.
We haven’t seen too much rain here this winter, but our
appreciation of its gift to us is bathed in gratitude. This Healing Rain is a testament to that gratitude, and overall is
quite a deep and reflective arrangement, one that perhaps you could listen to
whilst being cleansed from it. There were some moving changes from major to
minor I enjoyed here, and the use of pause was so brilliantly executed.
I love how Crosby with such ease switches it up a gear and
pulls off an almost folk rag of a song on the piece Thunder in the Mountain. Almost the alter ego of the last offering
and the dark rumblings on the low notes could easily be the storm crashing upon
the land. Then at around 2.34 minutes into this track the pace slows as if to
gaze at the drenched swathes of nature around us, the style and presentation is
not only well played, but a great descriptive narrative can be formed from it.
We once more break out into party mode at around the 6 minute marker to
conclude a suite of fine solo piano passages.
Our penultimate offering is a very moving piece indeed, it is
called Remember Me, I once had this
said to me, and I have. The mood here is so deep and emotional I can feel a
lump in my throat forming and a tear in the corner of my eye. Crosby’s
performance here was so emotive and clearly played and performed with such
heart and love, and as such this track was, and is truly appreciated.
Whilst it may be unusual to end with a long form piece, in
fact the longest track at well over 11 minutes, one can see why as this arrangement
is another musical sojourn all of its own, and can be enjoyed in its entirety
as a narrative of music that weaves a tale through its duration, it is called Everything’s Fine. There is also a
pause here at around the 7 minute mark of 40 seconds or so, perhaps one of
those moments to look back over the shoulder to fully appreciated the journey
Calix Meus Inebrians by Casey Crosby is a 12 track release that wears the badge of
uniqueness well upon its chest with pride. Crosby has manifested a multi-faceted
album that offers something for everyone who just adores the solo piano genre.
From the reflective to the bright and sparkling reveries, from humility to
memories Calix Meus Inebrians by Casey Crosby has it all and is a
veritable panacea of tone to cure all musical woes, and allows one to leave the
project feeling fulfilled and satisfied at the conclusion.