“Even For A Moment” is the second professional album release for solo pianist, Gary Schmidt. Hailing originally from Canada, and now living in Colorado, Gary teaches piano to children and adults. He studied piano at Tyndale College and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He has performed at both Carnegie Hall and The Grande Old Opry. Gary’s previous release, “Landscapes of the Heart,” won an “Album of the Year” award for “Best Piano with Instrumentation” from One World Music Radio as well as from Enlightened Piano Radio.
“Even For A Moment” is fourteen tracks and includes two classical pieces. This is fifty-three minutes of soul-soothing solo piano with instrumentation delivered in a neo-classical style. Guest artists include Sherry Finzer on flutes, Hannah Elkire on cello, and Roger Schmidt on acoustic guitar.
The album opens with the minimalistic, “If This Is The Time,” which is tender sweetness, not terribly complex in composition. The song is melodic and likeable, played with sensitivity and grace. It is perhaps someone quietly asking and then quietly accepting the answer to whether or not this is the right time for something near and dear to their heart. Very nice, and reminds us gently to allow things to unfold in harmonious, divine timing.
The cello of Hanna Elkire, following on “Inside This River,” adds a rich, full-bodied texture to this pleasant soundscape. It’s an enjoyable, charming melody, akin, perhaps to the flowing river of the heart. This gets really pretty about half way through with an interesting tempo change and with the cello becoming an even more perfect companion. For some reason, this song gave me chills. It must have been speaking to my heart, even for more than a moment. At 5:22 in length, there is time for meditation and contemplation along with relaxation. This is nice artistry and a true favorite.
Some other notables: “Face That Lights My Face,” is gentle, flowing, euphonious, and melodic. The acoustic guitar of Roger Schmidt, Gary’s brother, following the melody line, adds nice warmth and depth. The title track, “Even for a Moment,” is fun, upbeat, genial, and happy. Here again we have the sonorous cello following along. Very pleasant. “A Train Leaves the City,” is quiet and contemplative, and with its nostalgic wistfulness, seems to speak poignantly about saying goodbye as the title may imply. “The Breath at Dawn” is hypnotic and languorous, with Sherry Finzer’s flute artistry adding a spellbinding dimension to the mix. Track 9, “Simply By Looking” is a hypnotic mix of mellow cello and dreamy, well-composed piano melody, with a very light synth pad kind of underlay in here. I found this very relaxing.
In my opinion, “No Better Gift,” track 12, is the very best song on the album, and my absolute favorite. The piano melody is charming and engaging. The flute artistry is wonderful here and a beautiful complement. This is quite uplifting to the soul, and one to listen to again and again.
The album closes out with the charming, “Postlude to a Moment.” This is graceful, tender, and somewhat passionate without being overly so, and brings the album to the perfect, peaceful close. “Even For A Moment” is recommended as a most delightful album to add to your solo piano collection.
Get it here: https://www.apianist.com