James Woolwine | Solo Piano Destruction

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Solo Piano Destruction

by James Woolwine

This is a solo piano album of primarily original music, in a Contemporary-Classical style.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Overkill
4:49 $1.29
2. Ivory Dance
2:35 $1.29
3. Firework
4:20 $1.29
4. Meadows of Dan
3:17 $1.29
5. Happy Accident
5:00 $1.29
6. New Bach Etude
4:50 $1.29
7. Restless
5:08 $1.29
8. Teenage Dream
4:22 $1.29
9. The One You Don't See
4:55 $1.29
10. From Andy
5:09 $1.29
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"I feel this truly does bring something new and powerful to the music world." - Soundout.com

James Woolwine is an award-winning pianist/guitarist who straddles multiple genres. His original style of instrumental music is best described as Contemporary Classical which emphasizes the “contemporary”. Rock, Pop, Jazz, Heavy Metal, and Electronic influences are combined with his Classical background to create a truly unique hybrid. His compositions transport listeners through a range of emotions, as soothing melodies morph into fierce energy. James’ stylistic diversity and superior musicianship bring an exciting new sound to the instrumental music scene. In his own words, “…combining the beautiful with the devastating.”
"Solo Piano Destruction" is his first album.



to write a review

Steve Sheppard

Review from One World Music Radio (www.oneworldmusic.co.uk)
There is something very dramatic and empowering about this latest release by James Woolwine, from the very first track Woolwine is imperious in his approach and relentless in his style, but there is a level of sensitivity layered cleverly underneath.
Let’s listen to the opening track called Overkill, this is a determined piece if you have ever heard one, a classical dimension can also be found here, an empowering melody with a sense of delicacy written into the weave as well.
The shortest song off the album is called Ivory Dance and the title for fans of solo piano is perhaps quite obvious. However this is an intricate little number that must not be over looked at all costs.
However one of my favourite pieces off the album would be this one, Firework, there was something emotive about its energy, but powerful at the same time and like the original hit, retained that inspiring motif so beautifully.
The gentle refrains of an opening so memory filled could be heard on Meadows of Dan, there was a little Celtic ethic here too and the soft approach from Woolwine worked really well here, on what I would call a track of subtle sensitivity.
At the half way juncture we come across a traditional new age piano styled composition called Happy Accident. The tempo has a faster pace, but still that wonderful sense of balance can be found within this arrangement, there are a few changes in this piece that will require you the every eager listener to come back again and immerse yourselves within it once more, this is one clever track.
As we move slowly into the second half of the album we come across a classically inspired number entitled, New Bach Etude. The style here is delightful and very respectful and gives the listener a real opportunity to close their eyes and delve deep within the structure of the arrangement; this was another particular favourite of mine as well.
As we drift to the piece Restless dear reader and listener, we will find a fascinating track, it created that sense of restlessness as you would expect from the song title, but there were so many segments and patterns here that you just had to keep listening.
On Teenage Dream there is a gentle build and progression that is appealing and he does the Katy Perry song justice with a stylish performance that has both drive and passion.
The penultimate piece is called The One You Don’t See; I really enjoyed the ambience created by this composition, probably the most emotive track off the entire album, this one is really easy to listen to and has a wonderful flow built into the performance too.
The last track off our journey through this release with James Woolwine dear reader is called From Andy and is the equal longest track off the release, sharing that accolade with the track Restless, once more the Woolwine piano seems to flow like a mountain stream of musical intellect here, creating a very multi-dimensional piece to end the album.
Solo Piano Destruction is a piano based album that has power, intention, poise and determination all built into its final complex outcome, fans of the solo piano genre will be eager to make this one very much part of their ever growing collection.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Solo Piano Destruction" is the debut recording by pianist/composer/guitarist/singer/songwriter James Woolwine, a multi-faceted artist who started studying the piano at the age of seven. He was on track to becoming a concert pianist when his interest shifted to guitar and he attended Berklee College of Music as a guitar major. After college, he rediscovered his love for the piano and this album is the result! Woolwine’s piano compositions are inspired by his roots in classical music but also draw heavily from his love of rock, pop, and metal. I admit I was a little bit skeptical when I saw the title and cover artwork, but while Woolwine’s playing style is bold and energetic, there are also strong melodies and he has an expressive touch that conveys a variety of moods and tonal colors. Two of the ten tracks are Katy Perry covers and the other eight are Woolwine originals, some of which are bright and lively, some more smooth and graceful. He has a distinctive style that reminds me a bit of Scott D. Davis, although Scott’s music isn’t quite as classically-influenced.

"Solo Piano Destruction" begins with “Overkill,” Woolwine’s attempt to cram all of his musical influences into one piece - an “overkill” of ideas. Some of those influences - especially the classical ones - are easily identifiable and the piece is more of a montage than a medley. It’s a great opener that is fun, exciting, and showcases many of the styles Woolwine excels at. “Ivory Dance” is the first serious piano solo Woolwine composed. Some of the passages are very classical and some are more contemporary. It’s always fun to hear where composers started! “Firework” is the first of the two Katy Perry covers, arranged for solo piano; the second is “Teenage Dream.” “Meadows of Dan” is much simpler and more subdued, named for a place in Woolwine’s home state of Virginia - a favorite. I also really like “New Bach Etude,” which was Woolwine’s experiment with combining a simpler new age style and some of JS Bach’s harmonic progressions. The results are beautiful as well as interesting! Another favorite is “The One You Don’t See,” a solo version of a song originally written with vocals. With a variety of emotions expressed so eloquently, who needs lyrics? “From Andy” closes the album with a lively, upbeat piece inspired by guitarist Andy McKee.

With a great start like "Solo Piano Destruction," James Woolwine should be well on his way to making a name for himself! Check him out!

Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
James Woolwine is a pianist, guitarist, songwriter and teacher who began taking piano lessons at age seven. Comprised of eight original and two cover solo piano compositions, his debut album, Solo Piano Destruction, variably incorporates elements of pop, jazz and rock music into highly engaging contemporary classical arrangements.

“Overkill” is a dramatic and lively opener that follows along a relatively unpredictable path (as do many of James’ compositions), expertly weaving all his classical influences into one while displaying bold touches among an intricate melodic arrangement. The aptly-named “Ivory Dance” follows next, skipping along in a buoyant manner to the many nuances of James’ dynamic and intricate finger-work. The pace slows down a bit with Katy Perry’s instantly recognizable “Firework”, on which James skillfully employs his own unique embellishments. Comprised of the same four chords as the original song but with variation on the bridge, the piece is distinguished throughout by its insertion of powerful keystrokes, with special emphasis towards the latter part in the lower registers. Serving somewhat as an interlude is “Meadows of Dan”, which lends subtle contrast to the former piece with its simple opening notes and more rural, down-to-earth vibe. Dedicated to James’ mother who likewise named the piece, it takes its inspiration from a place called Dan in his home state of Virginia. Originally written as a guitar piece, “Happy Accident” sprang forth from several spontaneous ideas that ultimately resulted in a solid composition. Reminiscent of sunlight pouring through the open window of a cottage in the countryside, the fresh scents of nature seemingly fill the air, as James’ fingers move like spinning tops throughout the registers of this spritely, sunny tune. Showing considerably more restraint is “New Bach Etude”, the album’s most elegant composition, as well as my favorite, with its subtle intrigue and new age overtones. An additional Katy Perry song is rendered on this album, with James lending his own twist to the catchy “Teenage Dream”, which was the first composition he did a formal arrangement of. “From Andy” closes out the album with a sophisticated effervescence, serving as an ode to guitarist Andy McKee of whom this composition was inspired by.

Classically intricate yet dynamically straightforward, there is certainly much to appreciate about James Woolwine’s compositional arrangements and piano-playing techniques. Positive, upbeat and packing a lot of oomph, Solo Piano Destruction would be particularly well-suited to a live performance setting that personally engages his audience. With a guitar-based album also currently in the works, I suspect this is only just the beginning of more rewarding musical outputs to come!

Enlightened Piano Radio

Reviewed by Donovan Johnson
“Solo Piano Destruction” is an album recently recorded and performed by pianist James Woolwine. In addition, this is his debut solo piano album. The recording is made up of mostly original material, although there are a few cover songs sprinkled throughout as well.

My first impression of the album was of course the artwork on the cover, which in this case showcases a healthy sense of humor on James's part, and immediately drew my attention. It's refreshing to see someone express themselves bravely in their cover art, and James most certainly does that with this album and it's title, “Solo Piano Destruction.”

But how destructive is this album? There are certainly moments in the recording where James is able to show off his skills at the piano, and he's no slouch. His playing is clear, studied, timely, and dynamic. He also utilizes some unique chord progressions and approaches to scales and melodies that one doesn't hear very often at all. His dynamics are not what one would expect either. Moments of soft textures followed by loud, “in your face” chords and octaves keep the listener on the edge of their seat! All of this to say that James has a very different approach to the piano, not at all what might be considered “standard” in the solo piano genre, and for this reviewer that is welcome and refreshing.

Overall, the recording has a very diverse range of sounds, songs and arrangements. One can hear the “old world” styles of playing in the opening track, “Overkill.” There are many different progressions in this track that are reminiscent of Chopin and the old masters, modern Contemporary styles, and even some diminished chord eighth notes which take us back to the saloons of the old west. We begin with an energetic upward scale, and back down the piano with a broken Bbm scale, before leading into a “villan and the train track” sort of feel. This quickly changes, as the piece covers a lot of ground and one never really knows for sure where it's going or where they'll wind up next. It's an exploratory piece, and at just under five minutes it's probably my favorite track on the album.

“Ivory Dance” is another song that travels to the unexpected and utilizes many different moods to convey a message. It begins softly, serene, and wakes you up at about thirty seconds in – for about five seconds. Then just as quickly you're taken back to the soft serene sounds of beautiful melodies. There's also some really nice chromatic movement that takes place about two thirds of the way through the piece, before returning to the main theme. It's a lovely piece to listen to, and will have you imagining you're in concert and listening to James himself as he dances on the ivories.

My third choice in favorites would be “From Andy,” a track that is a bit different from the others in and of itself. Here we have a piece of music that moves along, beginning with a minor introduction and moving it's way into an energizing and uplifting theme. From there the piece alternates back and forth between the moods, utilizing some really nice syncopation and chord stabs, key changes, and a slower, powerfully majestic movement about two thirds of the way through the piece. Ultimately we return to the gentle back and forth movement that we enjoyed at the beginning of the piece. Several more key changes occur before the hard hitting, expressive final chords bring the listener to a majestic ending.

“Solo Piano Destruction” is an album that is full of surprises, styles and diversity, with the only exception being jazz piano. If you're a lover of solo piano music that's not afraid to explore uncharted musical territory, this album is for you! James has something very different to say here, and in so doing has created a great piece of art. Have a listen to it and see for yourself!


Goosebumps in the Middle of Summertime!
Privileged to see James Woolwine perform live. My husband and I absolutely love this multi-talented singer, songwriter, guitar player and of course, insanely talented pianist. We immediately did a Google-search and found we could download his latest MP3 here. This guy is a modern-day Bach, witness "Overkill". He also does more "mello-chill" type tunes, a la John Mayer, but better. It's really refreshing to hear actual -- emphasized -- music that uplifts your spirits, as well as understands the commonality of human emotions. Whatever your mood, you will enjoy all his music. We enjoy playing Woolwine's music throughout our house; when we have guests over they always say, "Who IS that???" Great gift for music lovers who have sophisticated taste. When can we get the next one?

Ellen Woodwerth

A REAL Musician!
I've had the pleasure of seeing James Woolwine perform live several times at various venues, on both piano and guitar, so I was eager for his first album to be released. WOW, it's such a joy to hear him perform! His covers of two Katy Perry hits are wonderful arrangements s, but his performance of his own original compositions are the big news here. He shows a range of emotional expression and technical ability on the piano that is truly wonderful. When I hear the first track, "Overkill", I can imagine sitting in a movie theater and hearing it as the film credits roll by. "Meadows of Dan", named after a place in Virginia and a simple melody that gets expanded and played with such a tender touch, brings to mind a comparison to Ken Burns' use of a similar evocative tune, "Ashokan Farewell" in his documentary "The Civil War". Listening to "Restless" while driving in my car the other day made me think, "That's just what I feel today." Even without hearing the heart-breaking lyrics of "The One You Don't See", the raw emotion of the playing totally communicates the feelings of the one not loved. "From Andy" is the last track and one of my favorites on the album. It was inspired by guitarist Andy McKee. James Woolwine has spent a lifetime perfecting his craft of music, and it shows. His joy in his music is clearly communicated here, with beautiful technique, deep emotion, and an ability to color his music in a way that is truly inspiring. Unbelievably, his talent as a guitarist matches his talent as a pianist. He is also an award-winning song-writer and recently began performing some of his own vocals too. James Woolwine is the real deal... a REAL musician. I can hardly wait for his next album.