Winter Journey
  • Released: November 19, 2004
  • 12 track(s)

Review by Kathy Parsons, Solo Piano Puplications

"Winter Journey" is a collection of twelve piano solos comprised of three original pieces and nine arrangements of traditional Christmas songs. Scott D. Davis brings a lot of energy to his music (especially when performing live!), so some of these pieces are bigger and more upbeat while others are peaceful and serene.

The CD opens with the title tune, a lively piece full of excitement and anticipation. Several themes weave in and out, telling about different parts of the journey - a great piece! The closing notes melt right into a lovely arrangement of "Away In a Manger. I always think of this as a children's piece, and Davis keeps the arrangement innocent and fairly simple. I really like what he does with the left hand broken chords. "We Three Kings" is a piece that stands up to many different approaches and stylings. Davis' arrangement is a theme and variations, which works well. His arrangement of "Greensleeves" is based in part on "Tahoma" from his previous CD of the same name - very peaceful with an underlying energy. When I first heard "Carol of the Bells," I thought it sounded a lot like George Winston's arrangement, and it is, indeed (used with permission). Scott did a fine job with it, too! (I wonder if he took his shoes off to perform it!) "Snowprints" is the second of the original pieces, and it's a beauty. The left hand summons a feeling of bitter cold with a repeated minor key pattern while the right hand sparkles like light dancing off the snow. I really love this piece and the atmosphere it creates. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" also does well with a variety of treatments. At more than seven minutes, Davis takes the song in several directions, keeping the melody intact and maintaining a haunting quality - a great arrangement! I also really like what Davis does with "Coventry Carol," an ancient melody that always sounds so sad. His arrangement of "Silent Night" is very different, beginning in a minor key and altering the melody to make it bittersweet. With each verse, the piece becomes more peaceful as it evolves into the major key and then back to the minor. Interesting and effective! The closing track is "O Come All Ye Faithful," which begins traditionally, with a classical treatment. About a third of the way into the piece, Davis pulls out the stops. If you know his "Soul of the Storm," this track will make you smile. With broken octaves in the left hand, the rest of the piece is full of energy and passion, summoning the faithful to come and rejoice. What a finish!

If you like Christmas music with a new sound and a fresh approach, I think you'll really enjoy "Winter Journey."

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