Thursday, March 25, 2021

Calix Meus Inebrians By Casey Crosby


Calix Meus Inebrians


Casey Crosby

Written by

Steve Sheppard


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 thus travelled.

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.

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