English Rock Band
It seems that many artists who put out a large body of work in a short period of time tend to repeat themselves and often need to edit with a more critical ear. This is certainly not the case with Eric Harry, who has composed and released eight albums since he became a solo artist two years ago. The ten original tracks on Fly are a combination of new age and new classical music for piano (Eric Harry) and string quartet (The Toronto String Quartet), and while the music is quiet and soothing, some of the pieces are a bit more upbeat than The Language of Flowers and Away Melancholy, Away, demonstrating Harry s versatility.
Fly begins with I Am the Sea, a gorgeous piece with the piano creating a gentle, rocking rhythm and an elegant melody while the strings (mostly cello) add a smooth flowing quality. Pure peace and tranquility! My Secret Muse is lighter and more carefree, although the strings keep it grounded. Dance For Little Feet has a Celtic tinge with Harry s fingers doing a happy dance around the piano keyboard while the strings give a cinematic sweep. A piano solo later in the piece suggests that the dancer is gradually slowing down, catching a second wind near the end and picking up the tempo and strings once more - utterly charming! Skipping Stones is fascinating. Harry uses tremolo on the piano to convey stones skipping on water and the droplets of dancing water that go along with them. It is not as melodic as some of the pieces, but it paints a wonderfully vivid picture of the simple joy this activity brings. The title track is a piece Harry wrote while he was in college. A bit more ambient, the piano describes the effortless freedom of flight while the strings make the piece soar. Love it! Surrounded By Sunflowers has a bluesy gospel feeling that stands out from the rest of the tracks without feeling out of place. Fun! Cloudless begins with Harry plucking the strings of the piano - an edgier sound than pizzicato on one of the stringed instruments. One of two piano solos on the CD, it leaves me wanting to hear more of just the piano. Next Time Can I Dance With You, the other solo, is a charming, heartfelt way to close this excellent album. Soft-spoken and sincere, its innocence goes deep. More, Eric, more!
Fly is excellent from the sweet cover artwork of a little boy with his arms in the air, ready to fly, to the closing piano chords. Truly a beauty, it is available from Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes. Highly recommended!
Kathy Parsons - MainlyPiano.com - 10/21/09 --Kathy Parsons - Mainly Piano