Kathy Parsons, an independent piano teacher dating back to the early 80s, has reviewed over a thousand plus CD’s through the years. She also spends time reviewing songbooks and interviewing piano artists from around the world. I was happy to hear she would review my debut release Out of the Blue, which is here below. If you want more information on Kathy, or would like to know more about her services, do visit her website site at mainlypiano.com
Out of the Blue is the first full-length CD release from pianist/composer Cory Lavine. A native New Yorker who now makes his home in Tennessee, Lavine has been playing the piano since he was nine. He took lessons for about six years and played in a variety of rock bands. He eventually earned a BA degree in music and sociology, doing youth ministry on the side whenever he could. The music on Out of the Blue was composed between 2009 and 2014, and Lavine had not composed music before that. Inspired by meeting and hearing Whisperings Artists David Nevue, David Lanz, Joseph Akins, and Philip Wesley in concert, that experience gave him the push he needed to start creating his own music. Light and upbeat, the nine piano solos are not overly complicated or challenging to the listener, but their messages are clear and heartfelt. While listening to his music, I get the feeling that Lavine is a genuinely nice person who is hoping his music will create a bright spot among all of the chaos of everyday living – and indeed, it does!
Out of the Blue opens with “Riding the Wind,” a lively piece that parallels life itself: sometimes we have the wind at our backs, propelling us along, and other times, the wind is blowing against us, making progress more difficult. We all experience these changes at some time or other, and this song reflects on that. “Give Thanks” was inspired by a sweet 3-year-old boy who touched Lavine with his innocence and lack of fear. Much of the piece is played in the upper registers of the piano, which almost always sound lighter and more playful. The beautifully poignant “Child’s Wish” was inspired by a young girl’s dream to be at the Grand Ole Opry, a wish being granted by The Make A Wish Foundation. Not surprisingly, this piece also has a feeling of innocence, but also of sadness and poignance. The title track was named because it suddenly appeared, well, you get it. It also refers to those people who travel in and out of our lives, seeming to appear “Out of the Blue.” Reflective and bittersweet, it’s also a favorite. The warm and encouraging “New Day” expresses the hope and optimism of our fresh starts – daily and otherwise. Another favorite, “Reminiscing,” closes the album with a piece about reflecting on the past as well as wondering about the future. The simple melody is gentle and sweet, with just a touch of melancholy.
Out of the Blue signals a bright debut for Cory Lavine, and pianists will be happy to know that the sheet music will also be available shortly. The album is available from corylavine.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby.