"The Journey" is pianist/composer Greg Maroney’s eighth album, and he has once again outdone himself! Greg has been one of my top favorite artists since I reviewed "Sentinel" in 2002, and he just keeps getting better. "The Journey" was recorded on a superlative Kawai grand piano at Piano Haven Studios in WA, and the engineering is flawless, capturing Maroney’s elegant and effortless touch. Longtime Maroney fans will be thrilled with this new release and newcomers will find it to be an inspiring and rewarding place to start. Fellow pianists will be happy to know that the sheet music for all eleven pieces on "The Journey" is on its way.
"The Journey" begins with the lovely “Valerie’s Song,” a sweet and gentle ballad that sets the tone of the album. “Awakening” is my favorite piece in this collection and one of my favorite Maroney compositions ever. While it isn’t as “big” as “Elementals” or “Nature’s Fury,” it has a similar emotional impact. Dark and somber, yet not without hope, it’s an incredibly powerful piece of music. The title track more than hints at Debussy with lots of sparkling notes in the treble clef and a melodic left hand. The second movement or theme is a gorgeous flowing ballad that eventually returns to the first theme before moving to a third theme that has a strong rhythm and a dark intensity that brings the 7 1/4-minute piece to a passionate conclusion. Great stuff! Maroney’s music is often inspired by nature and his surroundings, which makes “Prayer For the Planet” all the more poignant. Gentle yet very heartfelt, it is a fervent prayer that will touch the most jaded of spirits. “Waltz” is a graceful slow dance and feels much like a daydream set to music. Love this one, too! “Sitting By the Fire” exudes warmth and contentment. “Anime” is another favorite. It begins as a light waltz and becomes more intense as it evolves to a dramatic climax and returns briefly to the first theme. “Wheatfields” is pure Greg Maroney with a left hand that paints a picture of wheat gently flowing in the breeze while the right hand plays a beautiful melody that tells a story. “Wherever You Are” is a tender love song that comes from deep within and touches the heart in many different ways. It’s a stirring way to end this fantastic album.
"The Journey" is sure to be on my Favorites List for 2010! I give it my highest recommendation!