Review by Kathy Parsons of www.mainlypiano.com
A Time of Reflection is the first full album of original piano solos by Mark Looney although it is his eighth release to date. It is also the first album recorded on Joe Bongiorno’s new Shigeru Kawai grand piano at his new Piano Haven Studio location in Sedona, Arizona. I have enjoyed Looney’s previous albums - especially his 2010 Nocturnes of Faith - but this album really speaks to me. Looney began his classical piano training at the age of 8 and continued through college. After he graduated, he expanded his studies to include popular, inspirational, and jazz piano along with arranging and composing. He now owns and operates Central Florida Piano Studio in addition to performing concerts in a wide range of venues. The fourteen tracks on A Time For Reflection range from peaceful and calm to dark and turbulent, all expressed with an elegant, passionate touch and soul-stirring emotion. This is music that is immediately accessible yet complex enough to listen to many times without hearing it quite the same way twice. Excellent from the first note to the last, I expect this will be one of my favorite albums of the year.
A Time of Reflection begins with the title track, a quietly introspective piece that conveys a sense of peaceful contentment and grace - a beautiful start! “Life Treasures” picks up the tempo a bit, giving thanks and expressing feelings of joy. “Hope” is one of my favorites. The simple melody and understated accompaniment remind me of how delicate, fragile and bittersweet hope can be. Track 4 asks the eternal question “Why” with sincerity and a heartfelt desire to know the answer - or perhaps this is an answer to the question. Either way, it’s a beauty! “Soaring” takes us flying through the clouds, effortlessly and ever higher and more joyful. “Contemplation” is another favorite. Dark, dramatic, and deeply poignant, I hope there will be sheet music available because it really makes my fingers itch to play it! “Autumn” is melancholy and pensive, perhaps reflecting on the passage of time and anticipating the winter chill. Gorgeous! “Journey of Faith” is a tapestry of musical themes woven together to tell a story - another favorite. “My Only True Love” brings this wonderful album to a close with a tender love song that gently expresses deep love and affection.
A Time of Reflection is a gem from beginning to end! It is available from marklooney.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
July 31, 2013
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Kathy's Favorites: 2013