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Sometimes Paris

John Nilsen

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Album Review

John Nilsen has quietly developed a loyal following and critical acclaim for his five previous releases of piano-based music, both solo and small ensemble. On his brand new record, Sometimes Paris, Nilsen's years of paying his dues really comes to fruition with a mature and varied work of intimate expression and far-reaching themes. His piano-playing falls closer to Jim Chappell than to George Winston, especially in collaboration with Nancy Rumbel on oboe or English horn, but his solo work also continues to stand out with an appeal that combines introspective improvisation with familiar sounding, warmly romantic themes. Nilsen's compositions encompass both images from nature, such as "Leaf and Vine" or "Water Dancer," as well as times and places, such as on "Memory Lane," "Fountain of Granada," or the title piece. An especially strong track, "New October," is similar to an earlier piece, with endearing passages that linger in the memory like special times shared together with an old friend. He gives this stirring track a two-handed workout, highlighted by the soaring fretless bass of Phil Baker. For those who are wary of piano recordings because of a common glut in this genre, John Nilsen offers a fresh and refreshing view of the world around him with the dynamics of the piano and his unique style. ~ Backroads Music/Heartbeats, Rovi

Sometimes Paris, John Nilsen
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