Jim Gibson is one of Atlanta's busiest commercial pianists, but since 1996 his primary focus has been on building his catalog of solo piano CDs.
Until now, each of these CDs featured Jim's quiet improvisations of well-know (and well-loved) songs by famous American popular composers. Thus "Songs of the South" has classic melodies by Stephen Foster, "Melodies We Love: the 40s" has songs by Richard Rogers and Cole Porter, and so on.
These CDs have been very popular, and have sold over a hundred thousand copies...mostly through gift shops and historic sites, but also through many internet sites.
Jim's latest CD, "Tapestry," takes a new direction, and early reports from customers is enthusiastic. This is Jim's first CD of all-original music, and the first of his projects to go beyond the classic grand-piano sound.
All the tunes on this CD were composed with natural scenes in mind. In fact, several of them were actually created on the porch of Jim's house in the country...looking at a beautiful pine forest. (He took the computer and keyboard out onto the porch, and reports that it was the best recording session he's ever had.) Others melodies were inspired by various natural scenes---three photos are included in the CD booklet.
"I'm particularly fascinated by the textures and patterns in nature," says Jim. "The interlacings of leaves, the ripples on water, the layers of mountain scenes in the distance ....these were the natural tapestry that I tried to keep in mind as I worked on this CD.
"And.... some of them seemed to me to sound better with other sounds than the piano that I usually use . . . so several of these tunes feature the warm sound of the Fender piano, or the acoustic guitar.
"The improvisations were all recorded live--just one 'take'--on a keyboard, and there are no overlays or added strings...just one simple instrumental sound.
"My niche in the CD world is relaxing music, and I try very hard to make it interesting as well as quiet and soothing....and from the first responses to 'Tapestry,' I'm very happy. People are writing to tell me how much they enjoy it...and that is VERY gratifying."
Jim CDs are very popular. For instance, he has been on QVC, one of the songs from "The Forties" CD was used in an audio Hallmark Valentine card, and many movies, TV commercials, and audio-visual productions use his music.
"But the best feeling of all," Jim says, "is when I hear from individuals who write, call, and email to tell me that they really find the music enjoyable. That's my goal."