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Doug Hammer | Piano2

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Pop: Piano Moods: Featuring Piano
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Piano2

by Doug Hammer

Doug Hammer's thirteenth release features duets with himself. Two pianos, Four hands and a whole lotta fun.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Shimmer in Disaster
3:41 $0.99
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2. You're the One
3:10 $0.99
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3. The Sunshine in You
3:56 $0.99
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4. Across the Plains
4:40 $0.99
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5. Reaching for the Moon
3:38 $0.99
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6. Strut Your Stuff
2:22 $0.99
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7. Chasin' Possum
3:26 $0.99
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8. A Rainy Night with You
4:31 $0.99
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9. The Uncertainty Principle
3:40 $0.99
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10. Round and Round
3:31 $0.99
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11. Fanfare
4:43 $0.99
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12. Celtic Heart
4:31 $0.99
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13. Walking with You
4:27 $0.99
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14. Shine Bright
3:45 $0.99
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15. The Last Goodbye
3:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
piano2, Doug Hammer's thirteenth release, features duets with himself. Two pianos, four hands and a whole lotta fun. Born out of jamming with other piano artists, Doug decided to jam with himself in the studio. The album covers many styles including Pop, Jazz, Funk, New Age, Americana, Classical and more.

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Reviews


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Dick Metcalf

Unique original piano duets Doug Hammer
Unique original piano duets Doug Hammer – PIANO2: Just to clarify, the title is actually “Piano Squared”… it’s been a while since I reviewed Doug’s music on his “Celtique” album, but one thing I can (always) count on with his totally talented piano work is something fresh, new and unique. To really get acquainted with “the Dougs” (both of them), watch these videos Doug created for the release…

…after watching those, you’ll realize that Doug isn’t afraid to “play with things”… a marvelous (and sometimes slightly jaded) sense of humor. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Doug’s YouTube channel, where you’ll find him on albums, live performances and great little sketches… I’ve been a subscriber for a long time now.

“Piano2” is actually the very first album submitted to me for review in 2020, and as I listen to tunes like the upbeat “Chasin’ Possum“, I hear a “whole new Doug (or is that a set of them?)”… what an absolutely FUN song; perfect way to start off my musical New Year!

If you’re looking for music with a truly majestic feel to it, you’ll find the 4:39 “Across the Plains” very much to your liking… “the Dougs” use the WHOLE keyboard to give you visions of steeds & stirrups, lol… I can (easily) see this tune getting some MAJOR airplay on stations (of all types) ’round the globe… it’s clear that this duo took a lot of time to get the tune “just right”… as Doug said in his promo sheet… ““I would work on an accompaniment first and then listen to that and record melodic ideas on another track. Then, I would go back and refine the accompaniment and then again go back and refine the melody.”

The song that stuck as my personal favorite of the fifteen Doug offers up is actually one of the shorter ones… the 2:22 “Strut Your Stuff” comes across with a real feeling of “swagger”, but also conveys a strong sense of hope for the future!

I give Doug a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.99 for this highly original (and collectible) album. Get more information on Doug’s website. Rotcod Zzaj
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
If there is anything predictable about any of Doug Hammer’s recordings, it’s his versatility, the exceptionally high quality of his recordings, and his hunger to try something different. "Piano 2" ("Piano Squared"), his “lucky 13th” album, is a collection of fifteen original four-hand two-piano duets performed by Doug Hammer with - are you ready? - Doug Hammer! Using the wonders of modern recording technology, Hammer was able to record the parts separately and then tweak them to perfection as he put the parts together. These duets are absolutely seamless. Other artists have recorded and video’ed themselves playing duets with themselves, but not a whole album (that I am aware of). A master of a wide variety of musical genres, Hammer has created an album that ranges from jazzy up-tempo toe-tappers to romantic love songs-without-words to Celtic to more serious pieces and some that are just plain fun. I have been saying for years that Doug Hammer is an artist who can “do it all and do it all well,” and he proves that once again with "Piano2."

The album begins with “Shimmer in Disaster,” an easy-going yet dazzling jazz piece that expresses the freedom of improvisation on both parts while staying together, seemingly without effort. “You’re the One” is a gorgeous, heartfelt ballad that is both loving and encouraging. “The Sunshine in You” returns to a jazz vibe, this time one that is joyful and sparkling - a celebration! “Across the Plains” is bold and dramatic in a more classical style and tells a story about riding a horse across the open plains. “Strut Your Stuff” is a favorite. Funky and overflowing with attitude, it’s impossible to sit still while listening to this one! The smoother middle section adds an interesting contrast to the playful main theme at the beginning and end of the piece. “Chasin’ Possum” is even more fun with its lively stride style - I love this one, too! And then we’re treated to a tender love song, “A Rainy Night with You.” “The Uncertainty Principle” is a constantly changing piece that weaves a fascinating variety of themes and rhythms together - again, seamlessly. “Celtic Heart,” another favorite, seems to be telling a poignant story with grace and eloquence - simply beautiful! “Walking with You” has an unhurried yet purposeful feeling - much like going for a long walk with a friend or other loved one where conversation is spare but silent communication is ongoing (my interpretation!). “Shine Bright” expresses warmth, understanding and encouragement - an emotional boost from someone who cares. “The Last Goodbye” brings this outstanding album to an emotional close with a piece that overflows with sadness, tenderness, love - and hope.

Doug Hammer has hit another one out of the ballpark! It seems that each time he releases a new album, it’s my favorite, and this one is no exception. You really need to hear it to appreciate the musical wizardry that went into "Piano2." Don’t miss it!
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Steve Sheppard

Something to remember for the longest time!
Doug Hammer has been a guiding light for all us of those who truly appreciate all things piano for years now, with such classics as Celtique and my personal favourite Heart among many others; he is back to thrill us again with a brand new release entitled Piano².
This wonderful new musical journey of Piano² is a real step into a whole new realm for the artist. Hammers 13th release has a great self-descriptive introduction, as he describes his work as “two pianos, four hands and a whole lotta fun”, so let’s travel this fascinating corridor with the artist right now.
The first port of call is the smooth and calming Shimmer in Disaster, its delightful jazz motifs won me over instantly, and to follow that up with You’re the One was a move of sheer genius; this almost anthem like opus continued to create a powerful energy of compositional craft on this most acceptable of sojourns.
The Sunshine in You could be the next TV theme for a show like Cheers and the folk like melodies on the following piece called Across the Plains, took me directly back to my time in the Midwest. Now I know it’s an old and probably worn out cliché, but there is literally something for everyone on this album, for example try the distinctly empowering Reaching for the Moon, a track where anything is possible, and one that highlights the skills of the artist and the purpose for this album brilliantly.
The funky charm of Strut Your Stuff is an addictive composition of both humour and style, while Chasin' Possum is just unadulterated fun and frolics, indeed; rag never sounded so good.
The reflective mood is also catered for on this album with the quite emotional A Rainy Night With You, a song that eased the sadness of my day slightly, and a track that I felt could be turned into a love ballad with ease. Indeed the more one listens to this album, the more you get drawn into its excellent musical narrative, especially when you come across a composition like The Uncertainty Principle, here is an arrangement that caught my attention, I particularly adored the construction and crafted build which would go on to create something truly special and quite moving for me.
Round and Round does exactly what it says on the can, and while the melody elevates slowly, the principal mood of this track flows around us in an undeniable energetic way, this flows with an abundance of power and prestige within the next offering called Fanfare.
Hammers skill over the years has always to bring his audience truly listenable and accessible music, you can find that within pieces like the mournful Celtic Heart, a composition that pulls you back to a time of simplicity and unconditional love, he follows that up with one of my personal favourites off the album entitled Walking with You, a track played with such class and a wonderful open heart.
The penultimate offering is called Shine Bright as indeed it does, but in a heartfelt way, perhaps of experience, the performance here is sublime and utterly brilliant, and builds into something quite breathtakingly superb.
It is indeed incredible to think that this journey with the artist is about to be concluded, this final offering from Hammer that takes us out of the album is called The Last Goodbye. The is one of the most emotional performances I have heard from the artist and it certainly brought a tear to my eye of this emotive day, I have no doubt that this particular piece will be regarded by Hammer fans as a beautiful stand out piece off the release, it is with me.
Piano² is a clever album played by one of the most professional and intelligent pianists on the planet. Doug Hammer has pulled together a splendid 15 piece album and given us the ever eager listener something to remember for the longest time, a crafted and well thought out project indeed, and after all, if you can’t jam with yourself, who can you jam with? A release that is impossible not to recommended.
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Keith H "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

Amazing Versatility on The Ivory Keys!
Previous to Doug Hammer’s 13th proper studio recording piano2, I had the distinct pleasure to cover two entirely different releases. Christmas Lights in 2015 and Americana in 2016. The titles are self-explanatory however this title leaves you thinking what could be coming out of your speakers.

What I can say with unequivocal joy is that piano2 is as diverse musically as the last two I heard and reviewed. Doug likes to mix it up and play many different styles, touching upon a multitude of genres.

There is new age, contemporary classical, like “A Rainy Night with You” or some jazz-inflected honky-tonk like on “Chasin’ Possum.” Or one of my favorites that I added to my New Age Music Review Spotify Playlist, “The Sunshine in You.” That one sounds as bright and energetic as the title implies. If the shoe fits wear it right? I believe that applies to all of this music, titles of the tracks are a lead into what you will hear. Everyone will hear something different but the one commonality is that if there is a love for instrumental piano music. The consequence of that is piano2 will be your cup of tea straight away.

The changes can be dramatic from one track to the next and that is exactly what makes it such a great listen. It will hold your attention from beginning to end.

One thing that always fascinates me is the process an artist goes through creating a recording from scratch. This what Doug said about his process with piano2:

“I would work on an accompaniment first and then listen to that and record melodic ideas on another track. Then, I would go back and refine the accompaniment and then again go back and refine the melody.”

So, the very beginning steps then turns into refinement on different levels of production. What you get after all that passionate piano playing and structuring of compositions is nothing but beauty. To be more specific, this is musical bliss that anyone could enjoy and or appreciate.

My entire being is touched by music like this because I do not have to think about any lyrics, I just let the music take me to another mindset, a place where I love to go time and time again. I am giving thanks to Doug Hammer and every artist out there that has given me that gift. If you are looking for something like I am, then give piano2 a spin or stream it with the player provided right now.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 16, 2020
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