Walker is a pianist from Ohio who shares his positive outlook on life with the light-hearted songs on this album. Piano playing is at the front but the accompaniment includes a wide variety of instruments including strings, synth, percussion, bells, and woodwinds.

The songs highlight a range of pop, jazz, and modern-contemporary idioms. The tempos and musical ideas shift around to provide variety. Solo piano pieces alternate with textured instrumental and piano songs. The whole production is upbeat and major mode. At points the music is almost frantically peppy, like Track 9: Around the Block, which features a rag-time rhythm with some oom-pa-pa “gimme a bouncy C” vaudeville orchestration. Songs like Track 8: Looking Back and Track 10: End of the Line are more relaxed and easy to listen to.

Walker is a skilled pianist and composer and he shows his stuff on this debut album.

~Review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Jarred Walker
10 tracks, 55:16 min.
MP3: $9.49