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Customer Reviews

From MainlyPiano

KathyPiano7,

Kathryn Kaye’s sixth album, "Reflected In a Flowing Stream," is a bit different from her previous releases in that her classical background is more readily apparent. What hasn’t changed is her velvet touch on the piano keys and gentle, sensitive composing style. I have loved all of Kathryn’s albums so my expectations were high, but this one still coaxes a quiet “wow!” from me each time I hear it. Recorded at Imaginary Road Studios, produced by Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton, and Kaye, and recorded, mixed and mastered by Eaton, the album features several of the extraordinary musicians who often grace the recordings from Imaginary Road.

A native of southeast Kentucky, Kaye started playing hymns, folk music, and children’s songs on her family’s piano at the age of four. Although she was a very active musical performer throughout her youth, it wasn’t until she attended college that she learned to read music. She continued her training in Germany in both singing and piano and also performed professionally as a classical singer, folk singer, composer, pianist, and church organist. She released her first album, "Dreaming Still," in 2010.

"Reflected In a Flowing Stream" begins with “A Lark in the Last Light of Day,” one of two piano solos on the album. Sometimes very still, and sometimes full of movement, it’s a gorgeous opening that demonstrates the beauty and versatility of Kaye’s composing and playing styles. “As Seasons Change” features Eugene Friesen on cello and Tony Levin on bass. Poignant and full of longing, the haunting piano melody will stay with you long after the piece has ended. “Procession of Moon and Stars” goes in a more classical direction with cello, flugelhorn (Jeff Oster) and accordion (Eaton) in addition to the piano. Although the cadence of the piece is the steady rhythm of a processional, the melody is graceful and fluid - a very interesting study in contrasts. The first half of “The Stillness Before Dawn” is a gentle and delicate piano solo. The second movement features Jill Haley on English horn, and the third finishes as a piano solo. The quiet peacefulness of this piece is profound. “No Reason Not to Dance” picks up the tempo and brings in the wonderful Charlie Bisharat on violin. “April Rain” is the second piano solo and is exquisite, reminding me of a lyrical Mendelssohn “Song Without Words.” It is also my favorite piece on the album. “A Shower of Summer Nights” is performed by a trio of piano, violin (Bisharat) and accordion (Eaton). Really? Actually, the first part is solo piano and the accordion is pretty subtle, but Bisharat really gives this beautiful piece wings. The title track features piano, English horn (Haley) and cello (Friesen) and is as peaceful as its title implies. You can almost feel the dark chill of “Arctic Night,” a very spare and amazingly descriptive piece for piano, cello and bass - also a favorite as well as the closing track of the album.

As I said earlier, I have loved all of Kathryn Kaye’s albums, but I think this is her best work to date. It is my first “Pick” of 2017 and could very easily be a Favorite for the year. "Reflected In a Flowing Stream" is very highly recommended!

Review from Journeyscapes Radio

CandiceMichelle1,

Reflected in a Flowing Stream is the sixth full-length album from notably accomplished and award-winning pianist-composer, Kathryn Kaye. Co-produced by Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton and herself, Kathryn’s latest release was recorded at Will’s Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont, as well as mixed and mastered by Tom. Comprised of eleven compositions spanning fifty-five minutes, a talented team of guest musicians are variably featured throughout, of which includes Eugene Friesen on cello, Charlie Bisharat on violin, Tony Levin on bass, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, Jill Haley on English horn, Jeff Haynes on percussion, Tom Eaton on accordion, and Will Ackerman on guitar. As always, the most visually suited cover artwork was chosen to represent her album, with this one perfectly capturing a gentle repose, observant of nature and the seasonal cycles of the year.

“A Lark in the Last Night of Day” offers a gently spirited solo piano introduction with notable classical touches, delicately alternating between drifty notes and bubbling, flowing key strokes. Capturing a sense of nostalgia seemingly reflective upon the past, an allusion to the end of a season is conveyed, as further indicated by the title of the next piece, “As Seasons Change”. Here, a solemn touch of cello is accompanied by bass, preceding a lovely piano melody that becomes more formidable, yet remains ever graceful, before softly winding down again. The next composition, “Procession of Moon and Stars”, is likewise aptly-named, as it moves along in a procession-like manner with a marching stanza in the lower registers. Alternating between major and minor chord shifts throughout its main melodic riff, this exquisite number is further enhanced by accordion and cello, as the caressing sound of flugelhorn lends an interval of dreaminess. Bookended by sparse piano notes, “The Stillness Before Dawn” ensues, while a more clearly defined melody exchanges subtle gestures with English horn nestled in-between. Noticeably brightening up the mood is “No Reason Not to Dance”, an optimistically lively, moderately-paced ensemble piece joined by accordion, bass, percussion and violin. I’m especially fond of the closing piece, “Arctic Night”, which is likewise accompanied by cello and bass. As if having saved the best for last, this mysterious number beautifully paints a nocturnal landscape, while brooding minor chords softly cast a shadow upon cascading influxes of improvisational piano throughout.

Reflected in a Flowing Stream gently nudges the listener to take a pause for quiet reflection. It never becomes bombastic or overly imposing in nature, but rather feels intimately subdued. Executed with utmost elegance and an expertly refined restraint, Kathryn’s prepossessing compositions feel innately unhurried and mindful of every detail within the present moment. Her compositional style, along with the moods she creates, often bear reminiscence to the works of Chad Lawson, as well as those of early David Lanz, such as his Narada-released album, Nightfall. Existing fans of Kathryn’s work will note much to praise about this album, while newcomers will find a perfect place to start, especially, those who enjoy classically-infused, contemplative new age piano music!

About Kathryn Kaye

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