Recommended Recording Return Of Pianist Timothy Cooper


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There are plenty of musicians out there who play piano by themselves without additional instrumentation. In the new age genre, beginning with George Winston in the late Seventies and early Eighties, there has been a steady stream of solo piano releases. Some of the artists have become tried-and-true old favorites by now (Suzanne Ciani, David Lanz, Ann Sweeten, etc.) and others have (sometimes mercifully) disappeared from the scene. But there are also a lot of us who faithfully love solo piano playing because of the warmth and expressiveness of the instrument, so we are always on the lookout for the next interesting player. Which brings us to Timothy Cooper. He is not technically a newcomer. He released his first two albums in 2008 and 2009, and they did well on the new age airplay charts. But then he disappeared until a recent surprise return with GLOBAL SKIES.

This new recording shows a depth and maturity in his playing and composing beyond those earlier albums. In fact, the last one, EAST WEST, was comprised of lots of short and very short (like 22-seconds or something) piano tracks. GLOBAL SKIES is just the opposite. The shortest tune is four-minutes long and the longest nearly 14-minutes. And, even though a lot of Cooper’s composing comes out of improvisation (but that is where so many musicians start), he now seems to be going beyond just sitting in the studio and playing off riffs and little melody lines that he has come up with. These new pieces seem more formalized, more complete, more composed. Sure, he takes an idea and then runs it through the wringer and explores it in several different ways. But he seems to know where he is going and how to get back from there. This is a composed, self-assured musician with some interesting ideas and plenty of feeling in his music. Take a chance on this one. Recommended.