Thursday, February 16, 2023

Dreaming of Daybreak By Janice Lacy


Dreaming of Daybreak


Janice Lacy

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The manifestation of truly good art is the awareness of all possibilities, a connection to nature and all the beauty that it brings and a desire to build and construct sanctuaries of the mind and soul. On her latest release, Dreaming of Daybreak, Janice Lacy does all three of those precepts and more, I am now on my second full listen to the album and I’m sure it won’t stop there.

Janice first built her relationship with the piano at the extremely tender age of 3 years old, and this native from Ohio, and her symbiotic partnership with her beloved piano continues to this day, the journey begins with the opening piece Abiding, here lays a gentle musical narrative, a solo piano performance that illustrates the title of the album with such a calm repose.

There is more to this album that is now about to unfurl, Dreaming of Daybreak is a colourful release and as a title track is a sublime example of what can be achieved with a full flowing arrangement, one that also contains a soothing string section that is as calming as the early morning ocean waves kiss the daybreak as it rises into the soft palate of a dawn sky; if ever a track was idyllic, this is it.

A more reflective feel can be had on this next piece entitled As the Years Pass, the presentation on piano by the artist, takes on a more emotive touch as she explores times past and long gone, having one of the best horn performers in Jill Haley on the composition only elevated the song to a majestic and magical level.

Still Near is out next port of call and here we find Lacy in a calming mood, a symbiosis of thought and perception is created with the inclusion of Charlie Bisharat on violin, the purpose of the piece was more pronounced and full of flavour, but Bisharat’s sumptuous violin were the waves to Lacy’s vast ocean of talent, and added in that gentle poise to a glourious creation.

As we approach the summit of the album we come across a stunning performance that we now know as Waiting for the Clouds to Break. This piece sounds like a composition that is crying out through the ages, there is a level of much appreciated anticipation built into the weave here that is delightful, while on Headlands Spring the half way marker is reached, and in a true new age piano style as well. Through the charming refrains of this track I can visualise sitting upon a hillside after a long climb, and thoroughly enjoying the view, and then perhaps also using this piece as the soundtrack that goes along with the moment.

I adored the delicacy of this next offering entitled A Beautiful Light, this is a track that one can truly appreciate, it’s a creation that one can feel, like the first rays of the day warming your chilled face, the multi-instrumental nature of this composition made the experience even more delightful.

The light and airy motifs on this song just illustrates what a class act Janice Lacy is, as a pianist and composer, this is a wonderfully layered arrangement, one with delicious strings and even a slight Celtic motif as well, this is indeed one of those pieces that is impossible not to love.

The next creation offers up much, even a little apprehension to begin with, and then the piece seemingly drops gently into to a warming manifestation that is akin to a friendly arm around the shoulder. Always True is a reassuring melody of honesty and love, and played with the confidence of a pianist who truly feels as well as hears her own music.

This one made me smile, purely because our neighbours are Hungarians and hearing this piece I immediately imagined them dancing to Hungarian Waltz, however, lets cast that little daydream to the side, one has to admire this song, it has so much within its weave, a little folk, a hint of the classical, and a moving intention of a symbiosis of sound, dance and love.

Let’s arrive now at our last but one composition off the album and this one is called Nocturne, an artistic repose can be found here, and a composition that contains a lot of depth and passion, adding the Cello of Eugene Friesen into the mix is always going to increase the fluency of a piece, and also in the case of this creation, manifested a vast oasis of sound that we as listeners can magically explore. Lacy then concludes with a stylish ending as we are given a rerun of the first track of the album in Abiding (Reprise), one that contains Haley’s English horn to draw the night time down, and close the curtains to this most splendid album.

Dreaming of Daybreak by Janice Lacy is that magical stepping stone of accomplishment and with ease the artist’s best work thus far; it contains a plethora of multi-talented artists and producers, in the dream team of Friesian, Haley, and Bisharat, lets also not forget Tony Levin on Bass, and the wizard of imaginations in Mr Will Ackerman. This is going to be one of those releases for Janice, that she will look back on in the years ahead and be proud of, all the stars in every way have aligned with perfection for Dreaming of Daybreak, and it is going to be a huge hit on the charts and awards circuits for the musician, if there is any justice in this crazy musical world.

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