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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
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Beautiful Song
By Anne Trenning and Friends
Label: Shadetree Records
Released 2/1/2018
Beautiful Song tracks
1. Beautiful Song
2. Helpless
3. You Will Know My Love
4. El Farol
5. Do I Hear Christmas
6. Miller Gap
7. It's a Great Day To Be Alive
8. Hard Times Come No More
9. Building The Barn
10. If I Could Be With You
11. Go Light Your World
Memories are a thing of beauty
I learned my lesson quickly. When pianist and composer Anne Trenning referred to friends on her new recording, Beautiful Song – Anne Trenning and Friends, she not only meant the wonderful people that helped her make the album, but also the songs as well. Some music is like that. They are old friends making memories and somehow they just seem to become part of your life. Even if you don't hear a particular song for many years, when you do, the memories come flooding back to you just as vivid and delightful as on the day they were created.
The opening tune Beautiful Song is an old-timey tune, something from a dog-eared, dusty songbook propped up on the piano, but always there when you want it. It is the sound of parlor dances, and lemonade, back roads and murmuring streams. You can imagine shy smiles and Sunday visits. Perhaps Anne has discovered a way to turn back time with the notes from her piano.

Legendary folk rocker Neil Young's chestnut, Helpless is given all the respect and clarity it deserves. Listening to it, you remember all the words, but Anne adds another dimension. As you listen and sing along (even if it is inside) you encounter a hint of Pachelbel's Canon in D hidden in the theme. What a wonderful surprise.

You Will Know My Love is a melodic, heartfelt song. It is delicately sweet piece with piano and two cellos (James Todd and David Mayer). Anne offers it to her children as a gift and it becomes a mother's devotion made up of dulcet notes, like a wreath that is made up of flowers.

It seemed odd at the time, but I thoroughly enjoyed Do I Hear Christmas? As it played, it had Jeff Oster's flugelhorn declaring that any day that love abides, it is Christmas. The song is a slow, warm tune that invites a time to stare at the flames in the fireplace, call up an old friend, or to muse about the good things in life. A "count your blessings" kind of tune.

On Miller Gap I was taken back to different time and place. An old mountain cabin in the woods of Appalachia where they still had chicken dinners every Sunday night and after they ate, they pushed back the furniture, rolled up the rugs, and danced to tunes that had their births in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. This ditty features the Celtic flute of an old friend, Bill Leslie who makes the tune come alive.

I knew within three or four notes the song, Building the Barn was from the movie Witness. It is obvious proof that Anne's music does exactly what she wants it to. Maurice Jarre's soundtrack has a timelessness to it. I could re-imagine every peg and every post being touched by human hands as they were put lovingly into place. I could sense the feeling of being a part of something important, something enduring.

With warm saxophone by Fred Hiscock, the all too brief song Go Light Your World finishes the album. It is the sound of many people holding hands, giving nods and smiles, and uniting in heart. It is an old gospel tune that works in mysterious ways to say goodbye, fare thee well.

The fun part of Anne's friendly album was thinking, I know that one and, of course, making new friends. Anne Trenning has done a remarkable job of bringing together many minds, kindred spirits, and memorable music to create an album for any and all to enjoy. Her piano remained complimentary to every song, allowing the talents of all to shine through. Kudos to Rick Dior for his contributions as percussionist and producer. Highly recommended.
Rating: Very Good +   Very Good +
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 6/7/2018
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