Shades of jazz, classical, rock & funk, with epic as well as short pieces...
"...a sophisticated and contemporary writer - hear him!" - Kirk Nurock, Composer/Pianist, Koch Jazz/Classical Recording Artist
"His piano playing has a great touch." - Wallace Roney, Trumpeter/Producer, Grammy Award-winning Jazz Recording Artist
"His music has the rare ability to appeal to not only musicians seeking cerebral stimulation, but also innocent ears in search of a beautiful, memorable melody." - Tricia Tahara, Singer/Songwriter, Savant (Highnote) Jazz Recording Artist
"I dig that solo stuff greatly. LYING (IN MY SLEEP) is frickin' awesome! That bass line at the beginning of ISLANDS still freaks me out, as it is so perfectly melodic, and the short, quirky harmonic shift in THINGS LEFT UNSAID still sounds great!" - Ian Smit, Guitarist/Composer (Monkeyworks)
"...number one on my 'Top 40'. (Billboard's got nothing on this kid.)" - Jonathan Keezing, Guitarist/Composer, Passion Records
"He's the best blues pianist I've heard who 'doesn't play blues'." - Marc Landesberg, Bass Guitarist
"...quite an impressive album. The ISLANDS suite is excellent and kicks things off in fine fashion, and some of the quieter, more intimate solo pieces are quite beautiful and evocative. This has been a nice late-Saturday-night or early-Sunday-morning album..." - JM
ABOUT THE MUSIC:
"Each time I hear Adam Levin play one of his pieces - new or old - I reflexively smile and shake my head in amazement at just how good he is. If I could pin it down to only one thing....but, of course, I can't. It's easiest to start with a laundry list of the technical stuff: his encyclopedic harmonic vocabulary, his deftness with the most complex rhythmic and metric patterns, his ambitious but sold sense of structure, his stunningly beautiful and well-constructed melodies, and the way he performs it all with an acrobat's balance of drama and subtlety. But what's most impressive to me is the seemingly effortless manner in which he ties all these elements and more - across an impressively wide stylistic range - into one organic whole, bearing his unique and unmistakable stamp on every bar.
Adam's magnum opus ISLANDS engages in a bit of seriously playful one-upmanship, daring the listener to keep up with him as he takes us on a rollercoaster ride through an apparently haphazard collection of themes that is ultimately revealed to be an intricately balanced construct, bringing order out of chaos just as a kaleidoscope wrings symmetrical beauty from broken glass. NOT COMING HOME, a bright, jazzy song-without-words, crackles with the peculiar energy of thwarted expectations. Adam lulls us with his delicate ode to self-deception LYING (IN MY SLEEP), only to issue a defiantly swinging wakeup call in the form of an excerpt from IVORY TOWER. In THINGS LEFT UNSAID, one of his most sinuous, sensuous melodies gets a rich, intimate jazz (a la Levin) treatment. And check out the great bass work! Then there's the crystalline MANTRA. Initially an attempt at barebones minimalism, the embellishments of this musical mandala take it - and us - from its Reichian roots into the sublime territory that is Adam's own."
- Peter Stoller
Composed and performed by Adam Levin
Tenor & alto saxophones performed by Steve Wirts (on 'ISLANDS' Parts 1 & 3)
Engineered and mastered by Jay Mark, with additional mastering by The SoundLab.