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CD REVIEW: Chris Welch – Night Music
By Ben Ohmart - 06/07/2002 - 11:37 AM EDT

Artist: Chris Welch
Album: Night Music
CD Review: Listening to Night Music at 9:16am makes me think that this really is morning music, to have with the coffee and read the paper. Perhaps if I wait 12 hours, the gentle, new age piano music will take on a darkness that is hard to grasp with sun streaming through the blinds. Because it does have a melancholy, thoughtful flavor to it that gives rise to memories of sad relationships and happy family and all pensive moods in between.

Though most of the 53 minute disc is solo piano music, occasionally there is help from guitar, vibes, drums and bass. But mostly this is Welch’s own new age landscape on which he paints like current Rick Wakeman or more popular composers in that vein.

These 14 songs were written to celebrate the birth of Welch’s son. The composer gets a lot of work playing on various releases, like The Christopher Gross Ensemble’s Hit the Mark and Too Many Notes, and The Groove’s Destiny. He’ll also arrange songs when the muse and groups call him. And of course it’s always good to hear that a musician actually graduated from music college, this time, a BA in Jazz Studies from the U of Washington.

But the music is what counts. Anyone who’s after the subtler sound of music, the morning after, the feeling of subsiding pain in the head, you’ll want to listen to Night Music. It’s a beautiful, not busy, soundtrack to the road of ‘whatever you’re doing at the moment.’ It’ll fit anything you attempt, hushing the background for some quality brain work. Give it a shot.

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