Peter Calandra is back with his first new release for 2018, “Piano Improvisations Vol. 1”.
Peter Calandra is well known for his solo piano works and we have become very familiar with his great albums over the years. We had the pleasure of featuring the brilliant album last year, ‘The Road Home’. Now Peter is back with a Digital-Only release featuring music from Peter’s vast musical archives.
The music on this album was recorded over the course of the past 15 years. Some of the music was recorded on his own Yamaha C7 Piano, some was recorded in Bob James studio over a decade ago and some recorded at Avatar Studios in NYC with some left over time after recording some of Peter’s many film scores.
You may not know the name Peter Calandra, but chances are that you’ve heard his original music, his film or television scores, his sports anthems, or his Broadway performances. This prolific New York City-based composer and keyboard player has been immersed in music for most of his life; he has scored over 50 films, written over 2000 compositions for television broadcast (including over 40 theme packages for nationally broadcast sports shows, the most recent being ESPN’s theme for the Special Olympics World Games, and performed as a musician in the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon (for 10 years), The Lion King, Les Miserables, The Phantom Of The Opera, and Little Shop Of Horrors.
This new album Piano Improvisations Vol. 1 comprises musical selections bordering on the Jazz side of the spectrum (think Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea) with several tracks that fit perfectly into an ambient musical genre. One thing is for sure, this is a very creative album and all 14 instrumental tracks feature Peter’s wonderful and creative rhythms.
Peter is a very ambitious recording artist and because of that creative energy, he is able to keep a constant flow of music on the market. We find that kind of consistency is refreshing. We have a lot of respect for musicians that are constantly busy with one project or another, we can understand why many are like that. To keep those creative juices flowing you need to be actively using the talents or things will get stale and then you would feel a disconnect with your process. We can all relate that kind of mindset.
The Dictionary defines; improvisation: By something that is improvised, especially a piece of music, drama, etc., created without preparation. So, to create music without preparation would demand a tremendous insight into your chosen instrument. With that in mind, it would also require an incredible talent to start playing with a flow and sense of direction, and one that makes sense and is pleasing to a listener.
Peter Calandra has an innate sense of tone and rhythm in his offerings. Listening to “A 21st Century Monk” just of the great tracks on this album, you’ll hear progressive jazz, a track that any Miles Davis or John Coltrane fan would appreciate. Even though it is a stand-alone track, and every track is, it is done with a touch of class. Peter starts off the track slowly, gradually introducing the improvisations to the listener. Rather hitting someone all at once with music off the beaten path as it were, Peter takes the intelligent path presenting his music.
The most entertaining and interesting aspect of Piano Improvisations Vol. 1 is that you are not anticipating any sort of style or trend. This is improvisation at its unpredictable best. This is a strong release for Peter and it will engage his audience from start to finish leaving them wanting for more. Keep in mind this is only Volume 1 so more is likely to follow at some point, which keeps things exciting and interesting for the creator and listeners. This is a great album, all solo piano creations at the highest level of difficulty, just sensational and for Peter Calandra, he has another wonderful album to share with the world.