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“All You Need” is pianist/composer Arthur Dobrucki’s third recording of original solo piano music and again demonstrates his versatility and virtuosity as a composer and pianist as well as his deep roots in classical music. Leaning a bit more toward Americana and new age stylings, the nine tracks also reflect influences from blues, folk, pop, gospel, musical theater, and jazz. Active in the Southern California music community for more than twenty years, Dobrucki melds his diverse musical experiences into a unique and personal musical voice.
“All You Need” begins with “Bring It Back,” a light, warm piece that is tinged with mystery. Strongly melodic and flowing, it is a very promising start! The title track follows, and is a graceful, passionate ballad that evokes visions of a slow, fluid dance. “Rise Again” has its roots in gospel music, and is both reverent and jubilant. “Where You Lead” is joyful and upbeat with a swirling, infectious energy. “Wanting You” is less structured, more ambient, and absolutely gorgeous. Passionate and emotional, this music seems to come from the depths of the soul – definitely a favorite! The highlight of the album is the 16 1/2 minute “Communication,” a piece that I would guess is an improvisation because of its flowing quality, freedom, and changing themes (which hold together wonderfully – this is no musical patchwork quilt). Although the tone is mostly quiet, there is an underlying energy that keeps the piece moving forward, making it interesting and compelling as it evolves. At about the 10-minute point, the tempo picks up and the piece becomes much bigger and bolder, developing an almost funky jazz rhythm before returning to its more gentle, soft-spoken voice. It’s a tour-de-force and well-worth the price of “admission” by itself. “Lighthouse Prayer” is a charming and simple gem – graceful and heartfelt.
“All You Need” is a richly rewarding musical experience and should help to bring Arthur Dobrucki the recognition he deserves. Check it out! Recommended!
Kathy Parsons – Mainly Piano
”The Darkness and The Light” is pianist/composer Arthur Dobrucki’s debut album. Classically-trained from an early age, and active in the Southern California music community for more than twenty years, Dobrucki incorporates classical and contemporary stylings along with improvisation, keeping the general tone of the album classical. Of the sixteen piano solos, seven are preludes in various keys, two are minuets, and one is a waltz. The music is complex and very interesting, and there is quite a variety in the pieces, allowing us to experience several aspects of this composer’s style and sensibility.
The CD opens with “Prelude in C-sharp minor,” a gentle piece with a beautiful flowing quality. Some of the preludes have an updated Baroque feeling, as do the minuets, while others are more contemporary – “Prelude in C minor” has a bit of both, but is mostly a lovely, somewhat introspective piece. “Prelude in D major” is a 59-second bit of carefree sunshine. “Prelude in D minor” is one of my favorites. Full of longing, the melody is melancholy and wistful, and the flowing left hand enhances the mood. As usual, I seem to prefer the minor key pieces, and that includes “Prelude in G-sharp minor,” which is dark and brooding. One hand is arpeggiated in the treble clef while the melody travels from treble to bass clef and back – very effective. “Waltz #2 in G major” is light and joyful, almost dancing out of the CD player. And then we’re plunged into fourteen minutes of “Darkness,” an improvisation that took shape as it was being recorded. Much of this piece is played in the lower registers of the piano with occasional sparks of light in the high end. Some sections have an agitated energy, while others are more placid. Abstract and spontaneous, this is a very intense piece that is quite different from the other selections on the CD. I hear new things each time I listen to it. “Hymn For a New Day” has more of an upbeat gospel feel. “Ever After” and “Window” are also studio improvisations, and are much calmer and more peaceful than “Darkness.”
“The Darkness and The Light” is a fascinating first-album, and is a great choice for those who prefer their piano music on the classical side.
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