Neil Patton | Solitaire

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Solitaire

by Neil Patton

Songs for the Solitary: Fifteen piano solos portraying the wide range of emotions found between the joys of solitude and the trials of isolation.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. The Turning Page
3:14 $0.95
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2. Redemption
4:38 $0.95
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3. Walking on Air
3:39 $0.95
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4. The Shepherd
4:17 $0.95
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5. Lacrymosa
3:00 $0.95
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6. The Muse
3:46 $0.95
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7. Where I Can't Follow
3:27 $0.95
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8. The Calling
3:06 $0.95
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9. Twilight
3:37 $0.95
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10. Strength
4:50 $0.95
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11. Solitaire
4:00 $0.95
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12. Adrift
3:51 $0.95
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13. Bound
4:56 $0.95
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14. Back Porch
3:20 $0.95
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15. Gethsemane
8:16 $0.95
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Songs for the Solitary:

This collection of fifteen solo piano compositions reflects the spectrum of emotions we experience when alone, from the joys and inspiration of solitude, to the trials and darkness of isolation. These pieces are meant to celebrate those precious times away from the crowd, but also to encourage those who are in need of community and hope.

Performed on the same Yamaha C7 concert grand piano that Neil used for his previous two albums (Between Shadow and Light, and Hammer & Wire), these recordings capture the height, breadth and depth of sound that only a piano can produce, everything from delicate melodies to thundering rhythms. There is something for everyone in this collection.

"These are some of the best melodies and compositions I have ever created. I hope these pieces will encourage and connect with listeners on a deep level." - Neil Patton

"There are a lot of really good pianists on the contemporary piano scene, but only a few are breath-taking, and Neil Patton is one of those." - Kathy Parsons (mainlypiano . com)

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Reviews


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Candice Michelle

One of this year's finest solo piano recordings
Neil Patton is a supremely talented composer and pianist/keyboardist (as well as a singer – although I’ve yet to hear him in that capacity) whose released four solo piano albums to date. His latest album, entitled Solitaire, is comprised of 15 outstanding compositions spanning a little over an hour – and follows-up his fantastic release, Between Shadow and Light, which was one of my personal favorite solo piano recordings of last year.

The album opens with “The Turning Page” – a delicate, brisk-paced number that initially begins with a light and fluttery melody played in the higher register, as it increasingly adds more fullness via lower register chords along its course. Aptly setting the pace for the rest of the album, Neil expressively yet gracefully takes the listener on an inner journey that captures both hopeful, joyful moments as well as solemn, introspective moods, as he brilliantly performs on the keys with seemingly perfect ease and fluidity.

One particularly notable piece is “Walking on Air”, which recalls a hint of George Winston. Characterized by a colorfully radiant and vivid melody, the composition is seemingly punctuated by spiraling bursts of energy.

Another favorite of mine is “The Muse”, which pleasantly recalls some of Liz Story’s work, as it effectively showcases a constantly-changing pattern that sparkles and spins throughout. I’m also especially fond of “Twilight” – a boldly cinematic yet contemplative piece that bears touches of David Lanz. Here, Neil impressively creates a three-dimensional effect with his remarkable playing technique.

As with his previous album, Between Shadow and Light, Neil has once again saved the best for last (for me anyway) in the form of a similarly darker, lengthier composition entitled “Gethsemane”. Named for the urban garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, of which is probably best-known for being the place where Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion, this hauntingly beautiful number imparts an aptly mysterious, reflective mood. Here, Neil employs some gentle digital delay and liberal amount of reverb to create an all-encompassing, epic sound – making this one of my favorite solo piano pieces to emerge from an artist in a long time.

A truly exceptionable and professional talent, Neil Patton’s piano-playing is unquestionably top-notch – with his instrument always emitting a most lovely resonance. Additionally, Neil’s enthralling compositional style and perfected execution of these melodies uniquely stands out among many of his contemporaries, as well as places him in great company among some of the best in the field – hence, I can already conclude that Solitaire is destined to be named among the finest solo-piano releases of the year!
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Richard Dillon

The Main Course
Think of music as a meal. Much of new age piano music can be considered dessert: light and fluffy; of little substance. One listen is enough. This album is the main course. There's lots to "chew" one her. One time through a track is not enough.
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Steve Sheppard

From One World Music Radio
I have fond memories of the work of Neil Patton; back in 2015 he released the very classy Between Shadow and Light, so it was great to see another album of his land on my desk some three years later. This work is called Solitaire and from the sounds that usher forth from my player, it looks like Patton is back with another winner.
The opening piece The Turning Page, I found quite poignant; I have been on a life long journey of discovery myself and listening to this extremely melodic arrangement was like listening to the sound track of those life moments and events.
Redemption is up next, a soulful composition of great quality and honesty, this sense of reality in music is like the ever resounding tone of hope reverberating across the universe, perhaps an anthem for us to never give up.
I found Walking On Air a fascinating opus, I like my peaceful moments of reverie, but I can also find moments of blissful energy when I am at one with nature and by myself, this exciting and exhilarating composition does it for me, the interesting thing about this offering, was that I found a fascinating combination of musical memories lying in here as well, with hints of Keith Emerson and Elton John speaking to me at times.
The Shepherd is one of the most tender performances your likely to hear, there is a certain ambience created by this track that is so calming, one can with ease watch The Shepherd tending his flock, in which ever way you wish to think of it. This has to be one of the most delicate performances I have heard for some time.
Up next is a charming piece entitled Lacrymosa, there is a certain classical element to this track that is rather appealing, one that flows with an abundance of confidence throughout the overall composition.
The Muse is a journey through time and tide, the performance is played with a true level of confidence and brightness about its construction. Sometimes the journey is hard, sometimes easier, but there are always twists and turns along the way which need to be navigated, ones that are so wonderfully highlighted musically here.
At the midway point we come across Where I Can’t Follow. This starts in a flow of utter ambience, then with care and attention Patton increases the energy, the piece manifests itself into a glorious anthem of emotion and power, and then pulls back like a summer tide, into its soft and humble beginnings.
As we traverse into the latter half of the release, we touch base with a beautiful arrangement called The Calling. Patton’s performance here is creative and also very fluent; there is a certain reverence about the energy of this offering that gives it a touch of musical truth, that feeling that one has found after a long struggle alone on their chosen path.
I adored the piece Twilight, the narrative of creating a composition of this time of day fascinated me and Patton has done a superb job at manifesting something so redolent of this moment of time. This manifestation of brilliance draws an attractive vista across a night time horizon and fills it with a truly empowering musical performance, this is without doubt one of my favourite tracks off the release.
Strength is one of those compositions that draws upon the emotions of the mind, it creates from a well of sadness, a musical ladder from which to climb out of the malaise. Listen to this one; it evolves into a passionate piece, one that contains such a beautiful build and progression, this really has such a compelling narrative, which makes this my personal favourite from the collection, this is solo piano at its very best.
The title track is up next and Solitaire brims with the expectancy of a new day, from the warm roots of someone who is quite comfortable within their own company and energy. This arrangement does indeed have a wonderfully light feel to it, but in my view it also carries with it a sense of personal self-assuredness about its composition, a wonderful musical statement of sorts, performed with a sparkling intensity.
Completely opposite to the preceding track, Adrift has a singular sense of aloneness about it, being one who has bouts of wishing to be adrift from the worlds chatter and mundane trivia, I can relate to this composition, it is as if Patton is creating these musical dimensions, perhaps to manifest a peaceful sanctuary of the mind, a place that he is adrift in the realms of his own energy.
Bound has a delightful sense of musical retrospectivity about its construction, this is simply a pleasure to listen to, Patton’s performance here is played with such a level of emotion you can feel it pour from the speakers, the melody is so lush and imploring, and yes, another favourite of mine.
The penultimate offering is the very sweet and rustic, Back Porch, this is a simple little song, one of fond memories and times spent with people on days that will be remembered, but perhaps never repeated.
The last track off this fifteen piece release is called Gethsemane; the location is an urban garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the piece here portrays the area where Jesus prayed before his crucifixion. The intensity of this offering is amazing and will musically speak to you regardless of any religious beliefs; you may or may not have. The performance here is staggering in its sense of passion and sadness, and at well over eight minutes long is easily the longest track I have ever heard Patton perform, but each second is most certainly worth it.
Solitaire is an album of oneness, being comfortable in your own company, but are we ever truly alone? Each of the tracks on this release have been carefully crafted, they flow with intensity and an openness of a deeply felt sincerity. Solitaire is an album that fans of the solo piano genre will adore, and enjoy for decades whether by yourself or with friends.
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Solitaire" is Neil Patton’s fourth solo piano album following his 2015 release "Between Shadow and Light," which was awarded “Album of the Year” by MainlyPiano as well as several nominations for similar accolades. I’m going to quote myself from my review of that album because the statement is equally accurate and valid for "Solitaire": “There are a lot of really good pianists on the contemporary piano scene, but only a few are breath-taking, and Neil Patton is one of those. With impeccable technique, lightning-fast fingers, and amazing control of the piano, Patton also brings that intangible magic and passion to his compositions and playing that set him apart from most.” I’ll add that Neil Patton is one of my top five favorite pianist/composers on the planet and that I hope the wonders of his music will reach many new and appreciative ears and hearts with this release.

The fifteen original piano solos on "Solitaire" express the wide variety of emotions experienced when we are alone as well as the many life events that can result in solitude whether we welcome it or not. The CD liner notes explain the thoughts and inspiration behind each piece, often reflecting Patton’s deep faith. Some of the pieces are big and triumphant, while others express grief and sadness, joy, and everything in between. This is music that has substance, beauty and profound depth, played with passion, compassion and soul-stirring empathy. Neil Patton is the real deal, folks!

It’s not often that I have a hard time naming favorite pieces on albums, but every track on "Solitaire" is a favorite. It begins with “The Turning Page,” a gentle reminder that “each day is a journey to the next, and is not a permanent residence.” (quoted from the liner notes) Expressed with grace, it’s a very welcoming start. “Redemption” quietly offers hope and the promise of a Redeemer to those who have lost it all. Warm and encouraging, it’s a rainbow shining through the dark clouds. “Walking On Air” takes a different look at solitude - one of freedom, renewed energy and the possibilities of time spent alone. This piece is absolutely euphoric and ends with a surprising percussive burst. “The Shepherd” is a tender message of gratitude to the pastors of small churches - delicate, fragile and very sincere. “Lacrymosa” is for those who mourn. Comforting and soothing, it offers open arms and a sympathetic ear - stunningly beautiful. Although it is light, “Twilight” is bittersweet as it reflects on those who have lost many friends and family members to the passage of time. The title track is a swirling celebration of the “precious stones all around us.” Joyful and energetic, this one is sure to bring a big smile! “Back Porch” is quite different with a folksy feeling and a slight country “twang.” It is about the easy peace that can come from the solitude of reading a good book or having a pleasant daydream while sitting on the back porch. “Gethsemane” is the most breath-taking piece on the album and HAS to be heard. The title refers, of course, to the place where Jesus was hung on the cross. At over eight minutes, this is the centerpiece of the album, although placing it anywhere else in the playing order would have overshadowed the other tracks, no matter how exceptional they are. This is one of the darkest and most powerful piano solos I’ve ever heard. I can’t imagine anyone hearing this masterpiece and not being profoundly moved. Incredible.

It is early in the year, but I have a strong feeling that Neil Patton will have his second Album of the Year award from MainlyPiano. This album is a masterpiece from start to finish. Just don’t expect it to be background or mood music. I give it my highest recommendation.
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