Tuesday, November 1, 2022

A Glimpse of Grace By Kurt Reiman


A Glimpse of Grace


Kurt Reiman

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It’s been good to hear from Kurt Reiman again, this is a wonderful new album that returns me to his musical dimension, one that I gleefully enjoyed back in 2018 with the debut release of North Maple Road. Here though we take a ticket and embark on a journey of beautifully expressive piano music like never before.

Our departing point is the opening track Dawn to Dusk, a picture perfect starting composition, one that is easy on the mind and heart and paints us a serene picture of the road ahead, from a still point of musical reference that never waivers.

From the calmness of the first track we now traverse into a piece entitled Quiet Confidence, a slice of musical cleverness that literally does what it says on the can, as the presentation is assuredly fluent, and artistically colourful at all quarters, and contains a lush and moody horn as well.

Set in the Imaginary Road Studios, this album was pieced together by the legend that is Will Ackerman and his trust worthy team of, Charlie Bisharat on Violin, Tom Eaton on Bass, and Eugene Friesen on Cello, while the brass section saw both Jill Haley and Jeff Oster employed on both English and Flugel Horns, while Premik Russel Tubbs and Noah Wilding added some sensitive saxophone and ethereal vocals respectively throughout this sublime album.

As we reach track 3 we find that texture flowing utterly on the composition called Goodbye for Now. This is a memorable offering that I believe Kurt and his fans will remember for decades to come, and perhaps even be in rapture to hear at any concert, for this is a sensitive heart felt opus that literally moves the listener with its narrative and multi instrumental approach.

The brief but most pleasing Blessings is now upon us and this semi reflective solo piano offering is created with a most humbling ingredient, gratitude, and leads us perfectly onto our next arrangement.

Here is that very composition and it’s a radiant piece that captures the imagination of the listener from the off, Dreams of My Return shines like the sun of a new spring day, the performance here by Reiman is some of the best I have heard from the artist, on a track that would become one of my personal favourites from the album, but who can really resist that little interplay between major and minor!

Set Free starts with a delicacy, almost hesitancy perhaps as well, but that drifts away to a full blown and breath taking piece that contains the horn to add a memorable texture to the proceedings, whilst on Triumph we have almost the second part of the previous song, as here it seems that once being set free, we are now triumphant! An onward sense of movement can be found within this track, one that could easily be an anthem of success.

For some reason this next opus reminded me of Robert Frosts famous poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, and contained the words

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep …

I could with ease visualise this song The Way Home, being used as music to accompany a recital of that famous work, there was something so wonderfully lyrical about its construction, and without doubt one of the most beautiful compositions on the album.

So, we have crossed the boundaries, and step over the border, and into the second half of the album with an offering entitled Pathways, this moving creation is perfectly placed on the album to raise the energies of the listener as we dive into the project deeper, and as we do so we find a song that I adored called River's Edge. I am a fan of music constructed about rivers, a subject matter than can be so descriptive, like this very song.

Elegy for Justice is up next and Reiman has created a song that is not just deeply emotive, but a requiem for all who seek fairness and integrity in this world, rare commodities I know, but the artist does the subject matter proud, and the vocals of Wilding within this piece were so sensitive that they sparkled in the noon day sun.

I always look forward to the title track moment, and I was right to do so, as A Glimpse of Grace is one of the most elegant pieces I think I have heard from the artist, listen to the care and attention to compositional structure and detail here, it is something very special, and adding the multi instrumentational flavour to the piece, only added more weight to this wonderfully fluent arrangement.

A clever elevation of tone and tempo would give us Joyous; another song that does exactly what it says on the musical can, this bright sun kissed moment of solo piano is an energy booster of a track, one that allows us to swim perfectly into the arms of the next song with such ease.

That aforementioned track would be the tapestry of gentleness entitled With Every Step. We are deep into the realms of this album; it is so touching to find such an elegant piece at this juncture, the horn used in an almost symbiotic partnership with Reiman’s piano was simply idyllic, and perfect for this part of the album.

The penultimate track off the release is named This Dance, and its essence of a light but purposeful energy seemingly pirouettes us into our seats for the last track off this vast body of work called Dawn to Dusk (Reprise), where we return to our beginnings for a conclusion to a truly incredible work of art by the artist.

This 16 track album has to be the best work of the artist thus far; its textures and flavours bring us an unforgettable moment of piano based bliss, one that contains some of the finest session musicians of their days. A Glimpse of Grace by Kurt Reiman is an album of creative heart felt piano, rolled in a bed of warm and sensitive multi instrumentation; it would be hard to see this album not being a huge hit with its listeners and fans alike, and of course a sure fire chart hit at the very least, as such A Glimpse of Grace by Kurt Reiman, is one of the finest examples of contemporary instrumental music I have heard for simply ages.

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