Dan Kennedy is primarily a piano-player, but his new album, called Bloom Road, is all about versatility. Case in point: this album does have all one sound. Exactly half of the tunes are simply solo piano, very new agey and absolutely lovely. The other half of the album is made up of piano with some other instruments. For example, the CD begins with “Moonrise” and the sound is special guest David Rose playing absolutely gorgeous Native American wood flute with Kennedy laying down a gentle synth wash behind (and a sprinkle of piano notes towards the end). You would think this is a Native American music album based on that first track, but you would be wrong (although Rose comes back with some more delicious, luscious flute on two other tracks).

Hold onto your seat. Kennedy went out and got one of The Neville Brothers (Charles) to bring his sax into the studio for three of the tunes -- “Bloom Road,” “Pop Top” and “Torrent.” The first of these also has Rose on it so it is sort of a new age piece with piano, sax and flute sharing the lead. The second adds bass and a drum kit to the piano and sax so that the sound is more like tasty little jazz combo playing an upbeat, bright number. The third is the strangest piece on the recording, and once again has full drums (a little syncopated in one place), again upbeat, but this time with some synth sounds added (synth keyboards, strings, bass).

Similarly on “Sweet Rain” Kennedy brings in his piano and synth bass and drums, but this time he shares the spotlight with the flute instead of sax, and the tune is a bit more straight-forward (quite pretty actually). The solo piano pieces range from slow to forceful, all exquisitely done. But getting back to that versatility thing again. Kennedy wrote all the music except the last track when he tackles a solo piano version of “Who Loves You,” a hit once upon a time by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. You want variety on a modern instrumental album? Look no further. Dan Kennedy shows us he can head in any direction and pull it off with aplomb. Open your ears to these new sounds and you will not be disappointed.