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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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Red (piano)
By Isadar
Label: Mainya Music
Released 2/5/2013
Red (piano) tracks
1. Broken Valentine  
2. Red  
3. The Man Who Broke My Heart  
4. The Stairwell  
5. Letting Go  
6. En Face Du Miroir (Facing The Mirror)  
7. Blood... Thicker Than Water  
Music Box Hero
I only recently became acquainted with the music of Isadar. I did a review of his holiday album and I ended up wondering what he did the other three hundred and sixty four days of the year. I have found out and I am the better for it. His latest offering, Red, is a seven track cross-genre recording that captures all the lightness of jazz, the warmth of contemporary and the vividness of instrumental music. The album is seven years in the making and there is a lot of passion inside the notes. There are also happiness, pain, and melancholy. And he does this using only eighty-eight piano keys.

Broken Valentine opens the album with a somewhat despondent note or two and then wanders a bit with confusion, just like any other real life relationship. It gets back on track soon thereafter, but with a lot of wondering what happened. The main theme had me pondering about the future and if I could muster a new persistence.

If passion ever had a color representative, then it is Red. Like Isadar’s song of the same name, it is bold, bright and exciting. This up tempo tune has quite a story woven into a complex melody. There is the meeting, the courtship and the incredible heat of the romance. I noticed that some of the tunes have a distinctive Brubeckian feel to them and this one is on the cusp.

It was just a chance encounter, but it may have changed a life. The Stairwell is a song about the first meeting and a spark of hope. The quick smile and the echoing footsteps produced an ember and then, it was all speculation.

A strong element of melancholy is apparent in the tune Letting Go. There is a finality to it that blunts the emotions. Although Isadar's number is medium tempo, it has a shade of darkness that only a broken heart can know. Musically, it is a bottomless cliff and I cannot stop myself from walking in a straight line.

En Face Du Miroir (Facing the Mirror) allows me, as the listener to ask a lot of questions. I cannot forget the stairwell, nor the pain of letting go, but maybe, just maybe there is hope after all. I just have to find out what I want and go from there. Sometimes, however, the mirror is too revealing.

Blood... Thicker Than Water is red all over again. This tune is one of the most intricate songs on the recording and it took me a while to recognize the assurance of the melody. This is the happy song, but it lacks conviction. It is the promise of something yet unspoken.

Fabian Isadar Thibodoux was collecting music awards by age ten. In high school he drifted toward woodwinds, but then landed back at the piano. He graduated from the University of Louisiana and began recording. Not only has he recorded several albums, but he also put his talents into creating sound recordings for various music box manufacturers. As on his previous album, Reconstructed, Isadar has taken thought and sentiment and applied some sort of musical alchemy to the mix to make a delightful album of music. Although this one is a bit darker, it shines with its own complexities.
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 8/9/2013
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