Jim Gabriel | Sojourn

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New Age: Relaxation Easy Listening: Mood Music Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Sojourn

by Jim Gabriel

Exhibiting profound expression through technical mastery of his instrument, Gabriel re-imagines pure, wistful memories which arise from deep yearning and soar off the keyboard, surprising us with their sophistication and unexpected sentiment.
Genre: New Age: Relaxation
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. South Bend, Indiana 1989
3:23 $0.99
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2. Chaccone (feat. Eugene Friesen)
5:02 $0.99
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3. Spring Reverie (feat. Eugene Friesen)
4:35 $0.99
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4. Sojourn (feat. Eugene Friesen, William Ackerman & Jeff Pierce)
4:36 $0.99
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5. Closest Night
3:35 $0.99
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6. Dayspring (feat. Charlie Bisharat & Tony Levin)
4:25 $0.99
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7. Retrospection
6:46 $0.99
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8. Lost Chances (feat. Charlie Bisharat & Tony Levin)
4:17 $0.99
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9. Your Hand in Mine
5:12 $0.99
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10. Hopes Forgotten (feat. Tony Levin & Eugene Friesen)
4:02 $0.99
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11. To the Sky (feat. Eugene Friesen)
2:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Jim Gabriel’s musical world exists at the intersection of the ethereal and the intense, in that place where what is felt but not seen becomes real. Woven into the fabric of this world are a fascination with the transcendent and a desire to understand it.
Only eight years old when he met his first piano, Jim’s childhood infatuation flourished into a mature love for the instrument’s depth and versatility. His vagabond musical education began in earnest in high school, and continued at various schools including the University of Notre Dame, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Washington (Seattle). Along the way he acquired degrees, technique, experience, and became accomplished at both organ and piano. He has performed around the world, including in Rome for the late Pope John Paul II.
Jim discovered the satisfaction of performing his own improvisations for piano when he recorded a CD to help finance his studies. Filling spaces among selections with his own spontaneous inventions, he shaped his aural universe through playing which was passionate, strong and driven, filled with yearning yet suffused with wistful gentleness. With SOJOURN, he revisits that original diversion and gives the listener a window into his musical world.

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Reviews


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Ron Herr

Beautiful Piano Music
Sojourn is an album that has a consistent, relaxing tone throughout. Jim Gabriel's piano playing is sparkling without being showy, and the complementary musicians are just as good. The compositions also hold plenty of interest to reward active listening. A debut album worth owning.
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
Jim Gabriel’s debut album, “Sojourn” was recorded at the world-renown Imaginary Roads Studio in Vermont, under the direction of Grammy winning producer and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman and is comprised of both solo and ensemble pieces, which feature the talents of some of the best musicians in the business. Accompanists include cellist Eugene Friesen, best known as a member of the Paul Winter Consort, Charlie Bisharat on violin who plays with Yanni and others, bassist Tony Levin of Peter Gabriel’s touring band, and ambient guitarist/ recording artist Jeff Pierce. It is obvious that Jim could not have had a better crew for his maiden recording voyage.

An impressionistic solo piece called “Retrospection,” is evocative and haunting. These more ruminative compositions represent musical terrain that Jim is quite adept at traversing and account for much of the tone and tenor on “Sojourn.” A wistful ambience pervades the appropriately titled “Lost Chances,” which also features violin and bass. One thing I was aware of in this piece, as well as in Jim’s playing in general, was his mastery in the use of dynamics, with passages rising and falling in volume like the tides of the sea. On a track called “Spring Reverie.” I think that the use of the word “reverie,” is most appropriate in that there is a pensive quality that characterizes many of the tracks heard on the recording. While Jim’s music bears little resemblance stylistically to Celtic music, it does, in it’s own way, often reflect the bittersweet quality that genre of music captures so well. Jim Gabriel is an accomplished pianist and composer with a particular gift for melody and mood, which he displays so adeptly on this album. His music has been compared favorably with the likes of George Winston and Jim Brickman, and I’m sure that fans of these pianists, and new age piano in general will want to give this a listen. “Sojourn” is a wonderful debut release and I’m sure it is only the beginning of much more to come from this talented artist.

To read a full-length feature article on this CD, as well as others, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com
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Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
Although this is the debut album by pianist Jim Gabriel, it sounds like the flawless work of a venerable, veteran recording artist.

The CD features eleven tracks of exquisite piano music that really do take you on an inward journey of peaceful reflection and tranquil meditation. This is due to Gabriel's brilliantly subtle compositions and his seemingly effortless and masterfully understated performances.

Gabriel's beautiful handiwork is further embellished with flourishes of producer Will Ackerman's percussion, Charlie Bisharat's violin, Eugene Friesen's cello, Tony Levin's bass, and Jeff Pearce's Chapman Stick.

From beginning to end, this is a musical excursion well worth undertaking.
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Sojourn" is the stellar debut by pianist/composer Jim Gabriel. Produced by Will Ackerman at his Imaginary Road Studio in Vermont, the album is made up of four piano solos and seven duets/ensemble pieces that feature Eugene Friesen on cello (5), Charlie Bisharat on violin (2), Tony Levin on bass (3), Will Ackerman on percussion (1), and Jeff Pearce on Chapman Stick (1). The music is a fascinating combination of structured, melodic pieces and improvisations that are more ethereal and ambient. Two of the eleven tracks are covers that Gabriel has made his own.

Jim Gabriel started playing the piano at the age of eight and continued his education all over the world, culminating in a doctorate in Organ Performance from University of Washington in Seattle. Gabriel is the Choral Director at Cranbook Schools in Michigan, where he also teaches. His vast musical experience shines through in his original compositions as well as his playing, both of which are elegant and soulful. "Sojourn" is an extraordinary album and sure to be one of my favorites of 2014.

"Sojourn" begins with “South Bend, Indiana 1989,” a tender and delicate piano solo that sets the tone of the album. Very open and free, it’s a quietly bittersweet reflection on something from the past. “Chaccone” is an incredible duet for piano and cello. Built around a repeated bass pattern, the first half of the piece is just piano. As the cello enters, the music really takes flight. The last movement becomes very serene and gently drifts off at the end. “Spring Reverie,” also a duet for piano and cello, begins softly and builds slowly. The middle section becomes passionate and then gradually calms and fades out. The title track is a quartet featuring Gabriel, Ackerman, Friesen, and Pearce - definitely a favorite! Haunting and full of longing yet freely expressive, it’s a breath-taking piece! “Closest Night” returns to solo piano: open, free, and from the depths of the soul. Much of this piece is played in the lower registers of the piano, creating images of darkness and stillness. “Dayspring” takes us in a different direction altogether. Light and carefree, Charlie Bisharat’s violin takes us soaring through fluffy white clouds as Gabriel’s piano dances and swirls with joyous abandon. “Retrospection” is another favorite. A very subtle piano solo, the damper pedal holds many of the tones, creating an incredibly atmospheric, floating feeling that is both dreamy and suggestive of the passage of time - an amazing effect that is whole lot more difficult than one might expect, as excessive use of the pedal can turn the music to mud in no time. “Lost Chances” brings Bisharat back and adds Levin on bass for a poignant, nearly heartbreaking reflection on what might have been - love it! The two cover songs are “Your Hand in Mine” and “To the Sky,” which were originally performed by Explosions in the Sky and both are gorgeous. “Hopes Forgotten” is a passionate and deeply moving trio for piano, cello and bass.

My one-word review of "Sojourn" and Jim Gabriel’s music would be “Wow!!!” Be sure to check it out for yourself. I give it my highest recommendation.
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