"Somewhere In Romance" is the solo piano debut of Dorothy Axelrod, a Southern California pianist and piano teacher with thirty years of teaching experience - even more than me! The fourteen selections are standards and film music that share the themes of love and romance, beautifully arranged and improvised by Ms Axelrod. Inspired at an early age by a concert performance by piano legend Liberace, Axelrod has had a lifelong passion for the piano that she shares with her students as well as her audiences. She performs regularly with her trio in Southern California, and releasing this album has been a lifelong dream. Passion and a very impressive playing technique imbue the music with a warmth that goes far beyond most CDs of solo piano cover tunes. It is very clear from her playing that Axelrod deeply loves this music and wants to share that love with her listeners. Fans of Robin Meloy Goldsby and Danny Wright will find a lot to like here.
The album begins with "Sun and Moon" from Miss Saigon, a tender and heartfelt piece that builds to a passionate climax and then returns to a feeling of longing - a lovely start! "Cinema Paradiso" isn't as familiar as some of the songs on the album, but deep emotion and flowing beauty are in every note. "My Funny Valentine" and "Autumn Leaves" are two of my favorite standards, and Axelrod's arrangements are just right. One of the most enchanting movie themes ever is "Somewhere In Time," and Axelrod makes it her own - soft and gentle yet sparkling. I also really like "Legends Of the Fall," a graceful, dreamy theme played with a velvet touch. "All the Things You Are" was composed more than seventy years ago, but Axelrod brings it up-to-date with style and heart. "Here's That Rainy Day," a jazz standard from the 1950's, is given a sweet and lovely make-over for the 21st century romantic. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is the ultimate daydream song - wistful and yearning. "Somewhere" from West Side Story is the fourth song on the album with "somewhere" in the title - undoubtedly the inspiration for the CD title! Also a deeply passionate song, Axelrod pours her heart into it without going over the top. Beautifully done!
For anyone looking for romantic solo piano arrangements of familiar songs, "Somewhere In Romance" is well-worth checking out!