Whispering Souls Lisa Addeo 2012 / LALA Records 54 minutes
"Whispering Souls" is a beautiful collection of ten (mostly) piano solos by pianist/composer Lisa Addeo. Addeo currently has seven albums available, most of which are her arrangements of popular songs, standards, and movie themes, with and without vocals and sometimes with her band. "Whispering Souls" moves into a different direction with original compositions performed as solo piano with subtle embellishments here and there. She calls this music “meditative solo piano,” and the stylings are very fluid, relaxed and soothing. This album can gently fade into the background as lovely mood music, but is strong and distinctive enough for more focused listening. This is the first of Lisa Addeo’s music that I’ve heard, and I’m very impressed! It’s an interesting aside that Addeo performed a series of concerts at Radio City Music Hall in the mid-1980’s with the legendary Liberace.
"Whispering Souls" begins with the haunting title track. Slow, spare, and more than a little melancholy, I love this one! Some of the passages are quite melodic while others feel more improvised and free-form. Flute and crystal chimes add atmosphere and a gentle ambiance. “Sedona Serenade” is mostly piano, but there is also synth instrumentation that adds a lighthearted sparkle to the graceful piano. “In My Surrender” conveys the feeling of completely letting go with trust and ease. “Goddess of Cathedral Rock” is another favorite. Subtle synth strings, ocean sounds, and a beating heart add magical touches to this mysterious yet elegant and soothing beauty. The very tender “Peace by Peace” suggests feelings openness as well as a sense of empathy. I love the passages that go deep into the bass of the piano, stirring the soul. “Sacred Dreamer” drifts on a puffy cloud of a daydream, safe and enveloped in warmth. There are no worries here! On “Divine Starlight,” Addeo accents some of the notes to give them the hard edge of bright, sparkling points of light set in vast darkness - very effective! In this piece, the notes in the deep bass seem to take on the role of the night sky. This is my favorite piece on this album - atmospheric and very descriptive. “Ancient Memory” is dreamy and evocative. The piano is accompanied by synth washes of sound that add misty sonic colors and enhance the dreamy, reflective mood, ending this lovely journey with a sigh.
"Whispering Souls" is a wonderful introduction to Lisa Addeo and her music! It is available from www.LisaMusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!