Sherman, Greg - Zutique


Year of Release: 2000
Label: Relentless Pursuit
Catalog Number: RD4131
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:31:00

Zutique is the solo piano release from Greg Sherman, one fourth of Glass, the band featuring also his brother Jeff. I was predisposed to like this, being a fan of David Lanz and George Winston, both solo pianists. And I do. Both pianists came to mind, especially Winston, with the light and lilting "Heart Of Hearts," which has a warm and romantic melodicism without veering into sugary sentiment. Its companion piece, in a fashion, is "Le Coeur Volé (The Stolen Heart)." If the former was "courting," this latter piece is getting down to the serious stuff, where you start to think about a future together...

What has amazed me about solo piano releases is how full they sound even though they are the only instrument (yes, that's why it's called solo piano, I know). And like the best of them, Sherman fills that space without crowding it. Sherman's piano is warm and sonorous, with a very rich tone, exuding warmth even on the darker, moodier pieces. There is romanticism in every piece, each being mellow, relaxing compositions. It's perfect listening for digging into a good book or sitting with a loved one by a warm fire... simply quiet reflection.

"Rebecca's Garden" is a dramatic piece, leading us to believe that there might be something more to Rebecca's garden than fruits and vegetables... not in some horrific way, but... just that's more than that it appears to be. The Rebecca in the song's title we can presume to be Rebecca Davey, with whom Sherman wrote "Second Hand Melody." While as mellow as the entire album, it seems as though Sherman has a third hand here -- one playing the bass tones, one the higher notes, and that third playing the mid-tones. Sherman co-wrote with Jeff two pieces: the brief, classically influenced/music box influenced "Dance The Night Away" and darker toned "When I Look In Your Face." With this latter piece, if we follow the "story" from "Heart Of Hearts," and "Le Coeur Volé (The Stolen Heart)", we now see the couple in their "golden years." The music retains the same warmth and affection from the previous pieces, but has become more reflective. The relationship between the three tracks is just my imposition, by the way, but I sense a narrative thread between the three of them. In this latter piece, too, there are snippets of phrases that remind me of other pieces, too fleeting to name... like snatches of memory that flit across ones mind.

However, what ever narrative thread I've created, Sherman sees the musical pieces more as images than ideas. From his website: "The music [...] will lead you down a path, into a realm of feeling and experience, experience uncolored by thoughts, by belief systems or philosophy. It is music that is designed as much to rid us of the filters that color our perceptions. It's a purging of the senses. On this path, you will experience the joining of imagery and feeling. It makes a preference to images rather than ideas. The imagery brings feelings. Therefore his songs are like paintings. ".

A beautiful collection of music.

Sherman will donate $1.00 from each sale of this album to the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Ventura, CA.


Tracklisting:
Yodz' Dharma (4:29) / The Road Home (3:47) / Heart Of Hearts (5:39) / Moon Over Sedona (3:39) / Rebecca's Garden (5:50) / Le Coeur Volé (The Stolen Heart) (3:56) / The Weaver's Way (4:08) / Solimar Sunset (4:11) / Second Hand Melody (3:41) / Dance The Night Away (1:59) / When I Look In Your Face (5:28) / North Beach Revisited (5:14)

Musicians:
Greg Sherman - piano

Discography:
Zutique (2000)
The Road Home (2008)


Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: February 16th 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: www.rpursuit.com/gregsherman/index.html
Hits: 939
Language: english

  

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