After spending much of yesterday with David Lanz at his birthday party, it seems somewhat fitting that my first music review of the day should be a solo piano collection of great quality, and this is exactly what I am about to dive deep on into with this brand new release called Soul Story by another legend in the business, Peter Kater.
We begin this sojourn of bliss with the opening track Starry Night, Kater’s delicacy here manifests a masterful performance, one that encapsulates perfectly the glorious vast realms of a sparkling night sky, and the trillions of suns shining from the past into our present, to add to the mood, Kater’s wonderful slowness and calm tempo on the piano would give us easily one of the best beginnings to an album from this genre we have had this year with ease.
What would we give for the title of this next track from the artist, during another long hot and dry summer, as we listen to Touch of Rain? The water seems to fall down from the hands of Kater and into the puddles forming on this sun baked ground; this is a brilliantly crafted opus by the musician, performing with both a gentle and a passionate narrative, and thus the combination is sublime fluency.
One of my personal favourites from this superb album would be the following piece called The Path is Clear, there is a essence of intent and emotion here that is truly moving, and this smart and insightful offering gives up a gifted presentation that seems to urge the listener to move ahead, on a composition that one could easily see lyrics being created for it.
When we reach the piece Spiral Outward we find a composition that has flair rapidity and emphasises constant change and movement. Here lays another offering that has so many layers to its overall narrative, peeling away each of them leaves the listener with something fresh and incredibly tender to enjoy, in a performance that is simply breath taking and very emotive.
We can now step into the second half of the album with the track Find Me, the ambience here is simply mesmeric, this is one of those pieces I could easily get lost in with ease, and Kater’s gentle but persuasive performance is tranquil, yet layered with a hopeful happiness that is so very palpable.
The time has come to pull the covers from the canvas of the title track itself, and we reveal the overall masterpiece called Soul Story. There is a wonderfully passionate sense here that is so enjoyable, and at times one can almost feel a little film noir in the tempting and addictive story being told here by the artist, this dear reader is a prime example of what a really excellent solo piano performance sounds like.
The waters are deep within this release, its amazing creations seem to touch on many facets and emotions of life rich tapestry, and on Majesty Falling we have a track that is not only masterfully played, but portrays a gilded autumn of an arrangement, a track that spirals from great heights to gently drift down in energy and within its own musical reality.
Our penultimate offering is a serene presentation entitled Full Circle, and this pretty composition is played with such a sense of insight and intelligence from the artist, the tenderness of performance on the higher keys especially was something quite moving and enjoyable to listen to.
The last reverie was a most agreeable arrangement, elements of many moods and feeling can be found in this concluding offering entitled United, this is one of those feel good pieces that will leave you with a sense of, that after all you have been through everything worked out well in the end. The performance was craft-fully layered and textured by Kater, and done so well that it made this final tapestry the perfect ending piece to what has been a completely gratifying musical experience.
Peter Kater and his latest collection of solo piano compositions, touches the eager listener in us all, it is an album that is truly a Soul Story. Each piece has its own special narrative, and each piece is coated with a variety of colourful emotions. Soul Story is the apex of the solo piano genre, and one artistically manifested by an artist whose intelligent and thoughtful creations, will live on in the hearts and minds of the listener for an eternity, in an album that is a must buy for all fans of this genre.