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Reconstructed (Solo Piano)

Isadar

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Customer Reviews

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus

“Reconstructed” makes a wonderful first impression as it begins with a lovely tune entitled “Summer Nights.” Its gentle melody is entrancing and draws the listener in right from the start. I also appreciated Isadar’s sense of dynamics as it builds then drops into a more minimalistic feel in the second movement. The dynamic modulation continues on the second track, “Throwing The Dice,” which starts out sparsely before shifting into a lively upbeat tempo with interesting rhythmic complexity. Things slow down on “End Of The Line,” which exhibits an archetypal Windham Hill vibe painted in pastel hues of sound. His song called “Jealous Heart” captures this feel as well.

Isadar draws inspiration from some unlikely places, such as on “Active Imagination,” which is based on the teachings of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. Another interesting song title reference bears the name of the famous children’s book “Where The Wild Things Are” by the late Maurice Sendak. Upon seeing that listed on the album tracks, I was interested to hear how he would interpret it. Isadar gave this piece a bluesy feel, although more melodically and harmonically complex than the typical 12-bar blues. Also capturing my interest from the title alone was “The Bermuda Triangle.” It turned out to be not quite as mysterious as I might have expected, but actually reminded me a bit of something in the vein of famed jazz pianist Keith Jarrett.

I particularly enjoyed a quiet little song called “Waiting,” which evoked a feeling of anticipation and a looking forward to something happening. Another favorite was “Fountain Of Life” and the way it started with gentle sprays of notes before flowing into a fluid unfolding of rolling arpeggios and expressive melody. Overall I was impressed with Isadar’s piano mastery on such a diversity of material, and especially his aforementioned sense of dynamics with the yin and yang qualities it brings to his music. “Reconstructed” is a formidable collection and a perfect introduction to those who may not be familiar with the work of this incredibly talented musician.

From MainlyPiano

"Reconstructed" is a new “best of” anthology of Isadar’s (non-Christmas) solo piano CDs from the past twenty-one years. What sets this album apart from other anthologies is that Will Ackerman (owner of Imaginary Roads Studio and the legendary founder of Windham Hill Records) chose the sixteen tracks and produced the album. Isadar re-recorded all of the music at Imaginary Road on Ackerman’s extraordinary Steinway B grand piano. The majority of Ackerman’s productions (that I have heard, anyway) include an impressive group of back-up musicians, but Reconstructed is strictly solo piano. Being very familiar with Isadar’s music, I really appreciate Ackerman’s selections for this album. It gives a great overview of Isadar’s various composing styles from the dreamy “Love Chaconne” to the upbeat and playful “Where the Wild Things Are.” Six of the eight tracks from "Active Imagination" are included, but are somewhat shorter than the original recordings. Four tracks come from "The Journey" (2000), four from "Near the Edge of Light" (1990), a bonus track from "Scratching the Surface" (2006) which is also a best of collection, and a “summarized” track from "The Purple Heart" (2003).

I first became aware of Isadar and his music with "Active Imagination" in 1999, and he has continued to be one of my favorite artists over the years. One of the most versatile and creative artists I know, it was with genuine delight that I hosted an Isadar house concert here two years ago. I was even more fascinated with his music watching him play live. Of all of his releases, I think Reconstructed captures the spirit of his live performance best. His playing contains a good deal of improvisation, keeping the music fresh and vibrant no matter how often he plays it. Yet, it isn’t that different from the recordings or sheet music, so we have the best of both.

“Summer Nights” is a wonderful opening track. Warm, relaxed and flowing, it is an elegant “hook” to draw you into the album. “Throwing the Dice” is a longtime favorite with its shifting rhythms and “off the cuff” feel. “End of the Line” is a gorgeous, melodic ballad that shows Isadar’s soulful side. The rhythms and interplay between the hands in “Active Imagination” have always fascinated me, and this take is spectacular. The Purple Heart CD is a 55-minute improvisation dedicated to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attack. This summary track beautifully captures the feel of the album in a much shorter format. “Where the Wild Things Are” is another longtime favorite. Short and jazzy with just a touch of funk, I love playing this one, too! “Uncertainty” is a dark and moody soliloquy of sorts - love it. “Waiting” is very soft-spoken and graceful with a feeling of anticipation. “Love Chaconne” is an Isadar classic with its repeated pattern in the deep bass of the piano and improvisatory, somewhat percussive right hand communicating from the heart. “Voice of God - Thanksgiving” ends the album quietly and peacefully, inviting many repeated visits to this great album.

If you are new to Isadar’s music or a longtime fan like me who has most of his many recordings, "Reconstructed" is a must-have. These fresh new versions of old favorites are wonderful, and the piano sound is perfect. I give it my highest recommendation.

Biography

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '00s

Choosing to go only by his middle name for his professional recording career, Fabian Isadar Thibodeaux first began piano lessons at age five. In junior high school, Isadar's interests switched to woodwinds, but he rediscovered his original instrument at 17 and decided to stick with it. While studying at the University of Louisiana, Isadar began working on songs that would later be released on his 1997 release, Dream of the Dead, which was strongly inspired by Kate Bush's The Dreaming. However, Isadar's...
Full Bio
Reconstructed (Solo Piano), Isadar
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: New Age, Music
  • Released: Jun 05, 2012

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