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Binkelman's Corner by Bill Binkelman
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Dawn of Peace
By Lynn Yew Evers
Label: Self-Released
Released 3/1/2012
Dawn of Peace tracks
1. Yew and I
2. Lyrical Mood
3. A Dying Art
4. Dawn of Peace
5. Unspoken Tale
6. River of Tranquility
7. Away From Home
8. Shade of a Jorn Daffodil
9. Portrait of Love
10. Rain of Spring
11. A Fleeting Moment
Dawn of Peace
Will Ackerman has a singular talent for finding talented pianists. There's no sense denying it. Well, he may not actually find them, per se, but he certainly nurtures them and helps them find a "sixth gear," if you will. Lynn Yew Evers is one such artist.

Inside the jewel case (adorned with what I think is an unremarkable cover - no offense to the artist) is music of uncommon warmth featuring a blend of simplicity and complexity. Dawn of Peace bodes a promising future for this artist (this is her second US-based release after an acclaimed recording and performing career in her native Malaysia where she played in front of dignitaries, such as the King and Queen, and worked with ensembles and orchestras). While I think her solo piano pieces could do with some accompaniment here and there, she still manages to carry this CD on her talented shoulders and deliver enjoyable music - with an assist from Ackerman.

Nothing on the album breaks the mold of contemporary instrumental solo piano to such a degree that I can label Evers as an "original" but the same could be written of many of the solo piano releases that arrive in my mailbox. What Evers does offer is a solid blend of sincerity, technique, and simplicity which translates into an ear-pleasing collection of eleven pieces that vary just enough in mood and style to make the play-through aspect of the album an enjoyable experience, not a tiresome bore.

Yew and I opens the CD with a perfect example of the "sincere simplicity" I wrote about above. The mood is restrained with a blend of introspection and warmth - autumnal in essence. Lyrical Mood brings a slightly more elevated mood and tempo yet still maintains a reflective air to it at times, while also injecting a dash of drama here and there. Its main failing (as it is with several pieces on Dawn of Peace) is its length. The track, along with four others on the CD, goes on well past four minutes, which from my perspective is a critical threshold for solo piano numbers. Once you get above 5 minutes in duration (as four numbers do here), if you're not basically setting the world on fire, your listeners may lose interest (I found myself wanting to hit the "skip" button a few times). This is not a failing of Evers' talent, but simply not knowing when to conclude a song. A Dying Art runs almost 7 and half minutes, and while I like the musical themes that run through its length (a mood of loss and remembrance although somewhat alleviated at times with dramatic passages), it just goes on too long to sustain interest.

Of the shorter tunes here, Away From Home is properly wistful yet not oppressively morose (although the refrain may appear a bit too often) while Shade of a Torn Daffodil (besides having an ultra-original title) shows Evers' ability to craft something a little more complex than the usual fare. There is noticeable dramatic tension on this song and when Evers quiets down during some passages, there is a hint of one her strengths, i.e. finding the nuance within a musical phrase. The concluding A Fleeting Moment is an apt finish to the recording, as Evers allows her sincerity and warmth to dominate once again and the track flows with a sense of contentment and finality.

Dawn of Peace may not be startlingly unique, but it clearly demonstrates that Lynn Yew Evers has a bright future here in America in a vastly over-populated music field (solo piano). With some trimming of song length and the addition on some tracks of accompanists (or well executed keyboard embellishments), her next release would go a long way to putting her not just on the map, but in a prominent place among her competitors.
Rating: Good +   Good +
- reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 10/25/2013
 
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