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CD REVIEW: Tian - Dancing Waves
By Ben Ohmart - 05/21/2007 - 10:34 AM EDT

Artist: Tian
Genre: Classical
CD Review:
Impressive. The skill and shine that one man can get from one piano is still amazing. Tianís style of composition and performance is much like Rick Wakeman during his good years. Rich, tonal, melodic, utterly romantic, rather on the new age side, energetic and moody.

For instance, ĎA Widowís Lamentí is just what it says. Melancholy, shaken with brief bits of anger and self-pity about being alone and robbed of a faithful mate. Itís also 1 of 2 instrumentals that were totally improvised for the hour-long documentary on Tianís music, Into the Music. The first is the opening ĎThe Yachtsí, over 5 minutes of stage setting delight, busy with keys and flowers and rolling hills and fields of lovers and beaches appreciating the splendor of the rich boats as they sail forth.

These 10 songs float just under 50 minutes, showing off Tianís world-cultured construction which will speak the same to any appreciative audience, ancient or toddling. This he manages from a life spent on the keys, from China to New York, racking up enough honors to douse any child prodigy with ear-burning combustion.

A prodigy himself, Tian has won The National Piano Competition of China, the Young Keyboard Artist International Competition, as well as others. Heís performed at Lincoln Center, on CBS, PBS, and numerous cities across the world.

The wonderful thing about Dancing Waves is that, if you can turn your mind off rock long enough, the compositions are clean, refreshing, they examine the beauty of the human mind in reality and hope. Thoughts from Tianís mind are laid bare before you with just the blacks and whites and the foot pedals as writing tools. Nothing else is needed. Seldom are you wishing for anything further. Scrumptious solo acoustic piano music between the pop and classical worlds, set free to roam.

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