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New Age CD Reviews By Diane Garris
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Other reviews from New Age CD Reviews By Diane Garris:
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  Mandala by Eric Bikales, reviewed by Dyan Garris on 1/11/2021
  Sketches: Solo Piano Improvisations by Michele McLaughlin, reviewed by Dyan Garris on 12/14/2020
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Peace Valley
By Michael Borowski
Released 11/1/2020
Peace Valley tracks
1. Firefly
2. Finding Joy
3. First Snow
4. My Father, My Friend
5. Arches
6. Dear Son,
7. Cynthia Ann
8. Peace Valley
9. K
10. 7am Start
11. The Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter
12. Morning Cycle
Peace Valley by Michael Borowski
Hailing from Pennsylvania, Michael Borowski is the son of revered piano teacher, the late Cindy Borowski-Burns. Michael’s piano journey began at an early age with a particular interest and emphasis on classical composition. After being inspired by seeing George Winston in concert when he was 10 years old, Michael began composing his own music and went on to study music composition at Temple University.

His new album, “Peace Valley” is 12 tracks of straightforward solo piano, co-produced by Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, and recorded at Imaginary Roads Studios in Vermont.

The album opens with the gentle, “Firefly,” which perfectly captures the magic of these special, light-filled creatures. Following is “Finding Joy,” and here we have another perfectly paced and peaceful tune. This is not over-exuberant, but rather, just joyful enough to open the heart.

Do you remember that feeling you have when that very first snowfall of the season occurs? Calm, peaceful, wonder-filled, perhaps. . . “First Snow” is delightful and evokes that enchanting feeling. There’s a certain gift of talent and artistry it takes to be able to do this; to illicit and bring forth that perfect soundscape where we are just THERE. Here, and throughout the album, this marvelous artistry shines through like its own snowflake, lightly shimmering in the sun.

“My Father, My Friend” is poignant, gentle, and heartfelt. A melodic piece, this is very emotionally evocative. There’s a gentle gratitude that shines through here.

“Arches” is a favorite. For some reason, this reminded me of a road trip. There’s an uplifting sense of freedom here. As well, this song perfectly showcases Michael’s absolutely fantastic keyboard skills, along with his gift of composition. This is a melodic, fun, upbeat song, perfect for the playlist.

“Dear Son,” starts off with a lower register emphasis. If there were lyrics, which there aren’t any here, one can almost hear them in their head anyway. I think this is loving and brilliantly done.

I believe the tender, gentle, and melodic “Cynthia Ann” is a loving tribute to Michael’s late mother, Cindy, who suffered from Alzheimer’s for 12 years before succumbing. Michael is, by the way, a strong advocate for finding cure for this horrible disease and frequently plays concerts to help raise funds to this aim.

The title track is peaceful and interesting, with plenty of space to find your own peace. Michael creates a steady rhythm with the left hand, lower register in the delightful, “K.” This has got an engaging melody, is upbeat, and perfectly composed and executed.

Are you familiar with that sort of heavy feeling that might surround you when pulling yourself up and out of bed for an early morning start? Focused in the lower register, “7am Start” is that.

“The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter” was written by Will Ackerman and performed beautifully by Michael. Just lovely.

The album closes out with my ultimate favorite on this recording, “Morning Cycle.” I just love this and it’s definitely another for the playlist. It’s just over 4 minutes of a great melody and a great sense of peace in the valley. Lovely, all.

Video: “First Snow” https://youtu.be/Re4WOZ9qS6k

Official Artist Website: https://michaelborowskimusic.com/

Get “Peace Valley” here: https://michaelborowski.hearnow.com/
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by Dyan Garris on 12/10/2020
 
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