Ken Elkinson,
Revelry
(August Son, 2000)

Ken Elkinson strives to be the "David Hasslehoff" of piano music, marketing his soothing new age melodies to foreign markets and diverse outlets, such as in-flight audio systems and yoga centers. His compositions would certainly quell the fidgety flyers and enhance sun salutations throughout the world.

On Revelry, Elkinson's second CD of piano solos, the New York-based musician skillfully executes his craft. The pieces flow together mostly seamlessly, letting the listener absorb the music as relaxing ambiance or choose to concentrate on the changing emotions evoked by the progression.

The opening piece, "Sunshower," combines a rhythmic rain pattern with bright, joyful images. The title track, "Revelry," is light and breezy. "Solutions" slows the pace a bit, but none of the tracks is so somnolent that listeners completely drift. The arrangements are compiled to include transitions and mood shifts: "Regrets," a somber autumnal dance leads into the rejuvenation of "Green." The only cover tune, Hendrix's "Little Wing," fits flawlessly in the midst of the original choices.

The only distractions for those questing for inner peace through inobstrusive music therapy are the second cut, "Zymic," which demands attention with a catchy melody, and the oddly placed hidden final track, which introduces emphatically heavier hands after the silence of a delayed start.

Overall, Elkinson's Revelry is a solid body of effectively rendered piano compositions. It's soothing or evocative, depending on your level of concentration.

[ by Julie Bowerman ]
Rambles: 9 March 2002



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