Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Album Review: Thomas Zaruba- Slow Down

Thomas Zaruba
Slow Down
**and1/2 out of *****

Sometimes the title of an album can be a throw away, or a connection to a hopeful hit single and sometimes the title of an album can say it all. Thomas Zaruba's most recent work is a contemplative reflection and an urge to simply Slow Down in this trying and supremely fast times.  

This is a solo piano album from the composer/player Zaruba who is based in Paris, France and it slowly rolls through easy moving scales and progressions. The tempo never rises above a gentle stroll as Zaruba takes his own advice and lets the notes breath in space. The tracks here are fairly the same with the player moving from one tone to the next, but never changing the palette, repetition can be a bit dulling at times, but this is also a mood album and that is half the point.  

The tracks that we liked best are the seasonal sounding "Kozel" and the closing "Still Seeking" is a peaceful and pleasant way to end the disk. Some numbers aren't as successful with the mood as "Seventh Day" feels a bit out of place while "Shadow and Light" feels repetitive in the album itself and overly sleepy.

With instrumental Jazz sometimes the message doesn't get through, Zaruba succeeds this way, he also wrote some notes that really nail the feeling  he is going for. An example is: "In the right proportion silence brings introspection, and sadness is replaced by joy." Keep that in mind as you Slow Down.
Some solo piano work as we begin Jazzy January. Support the artist, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below:

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