There is nothing quite like the expectation and then the final gift of a new Pam Asberry album, it is certainly something to look forward to, and something to treasure once obtained. The artist has slowly made her way up the league table of solo piano performers, and must now be regarded as one of the best of this modern era, especially after the huge successes of releases like The Presence Of Wonder and Moods, Impressions and Souvenirs.
On her latest release Twelvemonth, Asberry celebrates and dedicates the album to the memory of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, a remarkable woman and stunning composer and pianist from the 19th century. Here Asberry explores the essences of her style and manifests 12 brand new offerings bathed in the energies of the inspiration, birthed from a collection of works back then known as, Das Jahr (The Year), and composed in 1841.
From the very first offering entitled Snow, you will note the explorative genius of this project; I must admit to have played this piece now 3 times in one hour and I still want more, it sets the scene perfectly for the album and is one of the finest compositions created by the artist all time.
The 12 tracks wend their way through a musical year to bring you many twists and turns of both nature, time, tide and change, like the amazingly powerful offering Wind, with Asberry in unstoppable form, and the dance like Maypole, with its happy rhythms and joyous refrains, a celebration of spring that I still remember to this day from England as well.
The natural performances on this album are utterly riveting, take Sparklers for example, a piece that has a wonderfully fluent melody and narrative, and one can with ease see the fireworks of a day of celebration rise and fall in the night sky with ease.
This collection of crafted songs is a true pleasure to dive head long into, even with the more moody filled opuses like Lament and Shadows, two perfect depictions of the oncoming seasons and autumn’s chilling embrace, which of course lead into the last two winter based offerings off the album, the last being the quite emotive and warming Hope, simply the best way to leave the release without doubt and full of Christmastide plenitude and optimism.
Twelvemonth by Pam Asberry is in my view a ground breaking release for the artist; she has fused a multitude of styles that reflect the subject matter of a year through music, and in doing so stunningly manifested an album of quite amazing quality.
There surely can be no doubt that Twelvemonth by Pam Asberry has seen the musician embrace the artist within herself, and in doing so has leaped up the long ladder of success, with what has to be a must buy album.