Acoustic Pianist Nick DeCesare (pronounced dee-chez-uh-ray) presents an album of gentle solo piano songs. The 13 tracks on this unusually good debut CD are peaceful and relaxing, introspective and soothing.

DeCesare’s style is a light combination of lyrical pop-style melodies with gentle jazz chordal progressions that are quite pleasing. The excellent engineering enhances the clarity of the playing. DeCesare combines strong technical mastery with genuine feeling in his performances. The music is somewhat reminiscent of the marvelous jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi (1928-1976), who, for younger readers, is the musician who composed the much-beloved, enduring soundtracks for the Peanuts/Charlie Brown cartoon specials.

The first track “Prologue: Anthem” is a calming processional. It would be excellent for a wedding, handfasting, or initiation entrance march! If it’s available in sheet music, I’d love to get a copy. Track 2: Grace Rapids is a lovely ballad-style song that just about begs for lyrics and a talented singer.

The variety of melodic content, chord progressions and textures keeps the album from becoming monotonous. Solo piano albums can get slouchy in that respect, and I tend to be a bit leery when receiving them for review. Nick DeCesare kept my interest and made a great impression with his combination of well-honed technical skills and song-writing savvy.

A lovely album for rituals, healing modalities, and even for handfasting or initiation ceremonies. Recommended!

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Nick DeCesare
Nick DeCesare, 2016
13 tracks, 48 minutes
CD Baby: CD  & download, both $9.99