This disc serves to remind us how much interesting, original music is being performed and recorded today without the benefit of national promotion and distribution. Ruben Garcia, who has worked with Harold Budd and Daniel Lentz, is a deeply serious and talented composer who resides in the northlands and operates his own recording studio. The Gatekeeper is a most unusual CD. It consist of 11 improvised, acoustic piano solos expressly directed toward "a simpler life." This music is so uncomplicated and guileless that it creates a sonic Peaceable Kingdom. There is no war here, no hatred, no hunger, no turmoil. Sophisticates might say that there is, in fact, nothing going on at all. And indeed, there is a thin line between innocence and insipidity that sometimes comes close to being crossed. But for the most part Garcia avoids bathos. On the final track with a sudden addition of bass and synthezisers, he magically transfer's the listener to the styles of Tangerine Dream. Garcia's music comes straight from the heart and soul, without artifice or sentimentality. Like Keith Jarret, he risks everything in the here and now of his playing.
No wonder he dedicated "The Gatekeeper" to Satie and Debussy.