Monday, August 29, 2022

Reflections on Inner Transformation By Joe Kenney


Reflections on Inner Transformation


Joe Kenney

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There are so many styles within the vast dimension entitled solo piano it is hard sometimes to pick something that fits your mood and preference, but within this brand new album called Reflections on Inner Transformation by pianist Joe Kenney, I think I may have found one of the best there is, and one that suits my laid back summer mode to perfection.

The first piece off this album I have now played 3 times in a row, it is so calming and tranquil, yet contains a delicate pastiche of Jazz, even a hint of a modern classical motif can be found here too; this reminds me of my global journeys, and sitting in Atlanta Hartsfield airport listening to the piano by the bar while waiting to fly home, utter magic indeed can be found on Reflection, No. 1: Courage.

The second of this 16 track album is entitled Reflection, No. 2: Grace (Libby's Lullaby), there is a delicious moodiness about this composition that is addictive; this is a deeply reflective and nostalgic performance, one that contains classical and new age notes within its presentation.

One of my favourites would be this following musical narrative called Reflection, No. 3: Connection, yes, so very redolent of a lazy Sunday morning, watching the cadence of the day and being filled with the gratitude of the moment, a ballad for the open heart, a wonderfully chilled jazz styled arrangement, made this as a presenter of a Jazz show, a moment of absolute heaven.

Reflection, No. 4: Commitment would give us a special moment to enjoy; this song could well spur a new sub tier genre, perhaps classical new age. There is a powerful even tempered intent here that is so listenable, and indeed this performance is one of the finest solo piano presentations I have heard this year with ease.

So let’s dive into the deeper waters of musical emotions through the piece Reflection, No. 5: Immersion, the juxtaposition here between styles was simply wonderful, a colourful classical new age style, mixed with some powerful ambient flavours, all of which go to create a blissful and passion filled arrangement that I absolutely loved.

Time to let loose with a little unadulterated jazz magic on the song Reflection, No. 6: Respite (Jazz Break), grab a glass, play for fun, and enjoy with a smile, this light hearted reverie is just what was need, and perfectly placed.

One area of musical intelligence is the ability to capture fluency in an arrangement, and here is a prime example to hold up. Reflection, No. 7: Dynamism is a charming and flowing offering that is so easy to listen to, enjoy, and savour each delightful moment of technical craft with.

Another favourite is heading onto my playlist of musical moments of brilliance; this one is called Reflection, No. 8: Authenticity, once more the artist has a perfect sense of inbuilt harmony and grace, one balanced with an essence of humility and integrity, a piece that is filled with a performance that is so real and truthful.

On this next track the title says it all, Reflection, No. 9: Depth (Dakota's Dance) simply put, it does what it says on the can, and this simple yet effective solo piano dance styled presentation has lightness about its construction that portrays a wonderfully happy feel.

There is a gentle cadence to this next piece that is so idyllic, it’s called Reflection, No. 10: Spirit (Mirabelle's Minuet), a track that flows with such a warm sense of gratitude and peace in a new age jazzy style, this is one of those tracks that impossible not to fall in love with.

Time to go short form now on what is in fact the shortest creation from the album called Reflection, No. 11: Compassion. The performance by Kenny here is simply idyllic and utterly picturesque.

Reflection, No. 12: Discovery is our next offering, the tempo picks up on this track, where a full on sense of movement can be detected within that is also emotive and reflective at times too. A powerful sense of the classics mixed with a little new age style, gifts us a track of supreme craft and intelligence.

As we swim to the far banks of this vast lake of solo piano music, we come across a composition that is warm and all-encompassing and called Reflection, No. 13: Presence. One could imagine sitting and just watching the cadence of the day unfurl to this timeless track, and most certainly an arrangement that assists us to staying the current moment with ease, probably one of the most artistic pieces from the album, a song that truly expresses itself with simplicity.

Reflection, No. 14: Expansion has a powerful intent and a direction that it will not be swayed from, but also written within the weave of the song is a wonderfully intense and emotional background; here Joe Kenney plays with his heart on his sleeve, and presents a flourishing musical story for us all to enjoy.

The penultimate offering from the album is entitled Reflection, No. 15: Catharsis, this bright, empowering piece is a crafted arrangement indeed as it seems to hold both the heart and mind in full focus throughout the composition, it is both emotive, yet inspiring, emotional, yet victorious.

The last song and concluding musical tale is called Reflection, No. 16: Transcendence (For Florence), here can be found a tale of memories, a final piece that floats on the wings of time, and disappears within the mists of life’s reflection, a sublime way to end the album indeed.

Reflections on Inner Transformation by Joe Kenney has to be one of the best solo piano albums I have heard this year, it is a 16 track album jam packed with sublime performances, by an artist who truly knows and understands his skillset. Each and every track on this release is a pleasure to listen to, and is a story as of yet untold, Reflections on Inner Transformation by Joe Kenney is an album I would recommend in a heartbeat.  

No comments:

Post a Comment