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David Alstead | Piano For Both Ears

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United States - Minnesota

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Classical: Contemporary Classical: New Age Moods: Instrumental
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Piano For Both Ears

by David Alstead

David "encourages" the inclusion of pop sensibilities, jazz chordal structures and various seemingly inappropriate musical elements into a sometimes belligerent and unwilling classical music form; emotional and stirring
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Prelude
1:40 $0.99
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2. One Journey
3:11 $0.99
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3. Empty Well
2:24 $0.99
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4. River's Edge
2:15 $0.99
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5. And Rain Fell
3:38 $0.99
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6. A Minor Character
4:10 $0.99
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7. Beauty Of The Norns
4:37 $0.99
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8. Run Of Good Fortune
3:30 $0.99
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9. Six Gypsies
3:29 $0.99
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10. Classicalis
2:37 $0.99
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11. Can Aaron Come Out To Play?
3:54 $0.99
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12. Seven Victor Two
3:04 $0.99
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13. Last Laugh
1:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Dave Alstead featured in September 2004 Keyboard Magazine!

"After listening to a whopping 22 records in search of this month's 'Unsigned Artist', the one that stood above all others was Piano For Both Ears, by David Alstead of St. Paul, Minnesota. The all-acoustic-piano work was written and performed by the artist. The style may be loosely described as early romantic, with voicings and fills of the kind made popular by Schubert and Chopin being put to good use. Alstead weaves jazz harmony into that structure, however, and there's enough variation from track to track to provide continuous interest. He also demonstrates both staccato and legato playing, avoiding the all-too-common foible of excessively riding the sustain pedal. Most importantly, the composition is fresh and pretty -- delivered on a well balanced recording, you have a winner. For more on Alstead, visit www.davidalstead.com."
-- Carl Lumma, Keyboard Magazine


David Alstead (feel free to call him "Dave") is currently living in St. Paul, Minnesota, but was originally from Alexandria and has lived in Minnesota most of his life. In a state well known for other pianists like Lorie Line, Jeane Arland Peterson and Willie Murphy, David has carved out a niche for himself that is unique. Determined to mix things up a little, he starts with a classical music form, and using the vocabulary of a myriad of musical styles, creates emotional and stirring songs that are sure to surprise and captivate.

Listeners will appreciate the classical influences that are obvious in David's musical style, which are the result of his many years of classical piano training. In addition however, with David's tendancy to encourage the inclusion of pop sensibilities and jazz chordal elements and structures into the music, you are as likely to hear Billy Joel, or Keith Green, or Dave Brubeck hidden just beneath the surface. His writing has been recognized by internationally renowned instrumental quartet Zeitgeist as a winner of their Eric Stokes Song Contest.

"Piano For Both Ears" is David's first solo piano CD, but he has played as a sideman with many performers and bands, most recently with the band Thinmen.

While recording "Piano For Both Ears", David Alstead found an outlet for the expression of his own style and numerous musical quirks. He recorded this CD by allowing each song reflect the time and emotional state in which it was written. This resulted in songs that were not forced into a pre-defined style cubby-hole, yet fit comfortabley together as a cohesive collection. What was the result?

And while there are no lyrics to the songs on"Piano For Both Ears", you will find that the songs are about life, death, happiness, sadness, wonder, fun, obsession, religion, self-reflection, homage... one might say about the path of life itself. Who needs lyrics? The music tells the whole story!

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

A Great Debut!
David Alstead’s “Piano For Both Ears” is a most impressive first recording. Strong classical influences are tempered with jazz chords and phrasing, and Alstead’s technique is flawless. His music is more complex than many contemporary pianists’, giving the careful listener something new to discover each time. That doesn’t mean that the music is inaccessible - it just goes way beyond musical fluff. There are several various styles, ranging from the baroque-styled “Classicalis” to the dark “Empty Well” to the upbeat flow of “Run of Good Fortune” to the jazzier two concluding tracks, “Seven Victor Two” and “Last Laugh.” Despite the variations in approach, the album holds together beautifully and allows us to get acquainted with the artist’s versatility.

Appropriately enough, the album opens with a flowing “Prelude” that gives us an idea of what’s coming. “Empty Well” is reflective and has a feeling of deep emotion perhaps coming of tragedy. It’s fascinating how the piece will go along in a classical mode and then some bluesy chords come in. This isn’t jarring at all, but points to the inventive nature of the composer. “River’s Edge” really feels like standing on a bank watching the flow of a river or stream. There are ripples and constant motion, and yet there is peace. “Beauty of the Norns” is a theme and variations, starting in an early classical style with the main theme, and moving seamlessly from one style to the next, keeping the theme intact and recognizable. “Run Of Good Fortune” is full of joy and fairly dances out of the cd player. There are swirling runs on the piano as the melody sings forth - beautiful! I also really like “Six Gypsies,” which hints of Dave Brubeck. “Can Aaron Come Out to Play?” hints at Vince Guaraldi with its playful rhythm and sense of fun. The last two tracks are my favorites. With a driving bass in the left hand, “Seven Victor Two” is much more jazz than classical. It has the freedom of an improvisation with the cohesiveness of a composed piece, and I love it! “Last Laugh” is a great ending, full of fun and a real toe-tapper.

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting acquainted with David Alstead’s music, and look forward to seeing where his musical path leads. Recommended!
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