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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
  Love by Peter Kater, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 7/27/2015
  Seasons of the Heart by Reneé Michele, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 7/27/2015
  Spiritus by David Wahler, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 7/27/2015
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By Peter Kater
Label: Mysterium Music
The Simplicity of It All
Renowned pianist and composer Peter Kater just released his newest album called Love. The title, simple, one word. The track titles, simple, one or two words. The music... incredibly complex and extraordinarily emotional. The ten-time Grammy Nominated artist has been busy with many collaborations of late, and it has been awhile since he has offered a solo piano work. The timing is perfect.

Love has many manifestations and it seems Kater has captured them all on this thirteen-track recording. He suggests that these contemporary recording are mostly spontaneous and improvisational. That is easy to say for someone who lives and breathes music.

The eponymous title track, Love is a carefree dance of the heart. The music fairly swirls out of the piano as it plays. The tone is so cheery that I hoped it would be a song that set the mood for the entire album. I was not disappointed.

Starting with a single echoing note Deeply is a resplendently captivating tune. It plunges the depth of emotions with its intricate melody and eloquent composition. There is a familiar warmth emanating from the song. I have never heard it before of course, but there is a reassurance, a comfort to be taken from the arrangement.

The piano ballad Two of Us reflects the aforementioned simplicity. The story of two people and the music of two chords result in endless variations. It becomes the theme song for a Union. There is something special and delightful about the timing in a relationship when things start to take shape. You laugh at the same jokes, find out you like the same kind of food and you find the elusive common denominator. As time goes by, the converse materializes. Your lives take on a sense of Mystery. Although you both agreed that the past is the past, there are always questions asked by the heart and the mind. Sometimes the unknown can be sexy, exotic, or fascinating. Other times it can lead to doubt. Peace comes with answers. It becomes a search for trust. That is where the song Safe Haven comes in. A safe haven need not just be a cozy cave or a snug harbor. It can be a plateau reached in a relationship. A point where the souls coalescence and become one.

The lighthearted tune called Eternal Spring became my favorite. It is a song that emphasizes perspective as in; everything is right in the world. There is a feeling of balance and everything makes sense. It is a rare episode in the life of one, but when it occurs to two people at the same time…well, they call that miracle, love.

Peter throws a stumbling block in the works with the serious piece called Turbulence. The multifarious composition is somber in a way that portrays confusion, doubt and hesitancy. This is the only dark number in the recording and it has to be there. Every relationship has its time of uncertainty precipitated by everything and anything from a simple misunderstanding to a forgotten phone call to a sad voice that whispered, "I waited for you." Like many on this CD, this tune is a wonderful piece of improvisation.

Finally, comes the song Passion and it speaks volumes for itself. The tune is both a written composition and an improvisation that reflects a highly intricate state of mind and a joyful heart. It is eight minutes of bliss, a celebration if you will, of an aspiration reached by means you were not aware of, by a strength you were not sure you had and within a lifetime that doubled, at least in your heart, by the very harmony of love.

There are no fairies in this music, no ocean sounds, and no thunder. What is offered is emotion wrenched out of every note. Peter Kater draws the feelings out of the piano like some musical alchemist bent on discovering something new and precious. This seventy-two minute recording of enthralling contemporary music is a testament to his success.
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 7/27/2015
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