Before The Rain Zachary Bruno 2013 / Zachary Bruno 43 minutes
At eighteen years old, Zachary Bruno is the youngest pianist/composer I’ve reviewed in a very long time, and what a refreshing pleasure it is to hear such beautiful music coming from someone so young! Composed over a four-year period, it is not readily apparent which of the twelve piano solos on "Before the Rain" were written when Zachary was in his early teens. Warm, confident, and very expressive, this is amazing music and an extraordinary beginning to a very promising career in music. Look out world, here comes Zachary Bruno! Recorded at Joe Bongiorno’s Piano Haven Studio in Sedona, Arizona, the sound quality of the recording is superb and brings out the beauty of these pieces.
"Before the Rain" begins with the title track, a piece that beautifully conveys the unsettled conditions of an approaching storm. Once the rain starts, the mood lifts, becoming sparkling and optimistic. “Faith Remembers” is a bit more subdued, but absolutely gorgeous. The gently-flowing melody speaks a soulful truth as it soothes and reassures. I love this one! “Distant Echoes” lightly dances on the keyboard as the piano dampers create occasional echoing effects - sweet and effortless. After a graceful start, “Migration” becomes an energetic etude in broken chords. “Helping a Friend” overflows with tenderness and caring - definitely a favorite. “Autumn Leaves” has a swirling energy like drying leaves caught in a playful wind - lively and upbeat. “Dancing in the Rain” is another favorite. The opening moments are slow, graceful and very rubato - almost a prelude. The second theme is a lighthearted waltz that gradually slows and segues into a third theme which is more effervescent and free, returning to the second theme with variations, and closing with a variation on the first theme - wonderful stuff!!! The elegant, graceful flow of “Sonoran Sunset” is a warm invitation to a shared experience. Tranquil and serene, “Midnight Sky” is a picture painted with sounds. The somewhat percussive high notes suggest the glitter of bright stars on a blackened sky. “First Light” is a welcoming and optimistic beginning to a new day and a lovely close to an fantastic new album.
Zachary Bruno is definitely an up-and-coming new artist to keep your eyes (and ears!) on! "Before the Rain" would be an outstanding achievement from someone much older, so I’m incredibly excited about the recording and Bruno himself. It is available from www.zacharybrunomusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. I give it my highest recommendation!