Looking Beyond the Mirror
Louis Landon – Composer, Steinway Artist and Pianist for Peace
Review by Joseph Akins, Professor – Composer – Pianist & Keyboard Player www.josephakins.com
I’ve been a big fan of the peaceful piano music from the talented Louis Landon for many years. Several of his albums are among my collection of CD’s and iTunes downloads. Looking Beyond the Mirror, one of his most recent releases, will fit nicely with them.
Recorded live in concert at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in November 10, 2017, Looking Beyond the Mirror was improvised and inspired by the glass art and sculptures of Peter Bremers. The liner notes state “the installation, in two gallery spaces, consisted of two parts”.
The first track is titled after one of those parts, “Perception”. The music is a beautiful journey of solo piano that exceeds thirteen minutes. At times, it sweetly floats along and at other times it drives ahead with fury. Landon’s pianistic skills and deep understanding of jazz is clearly heard. In fact, Louis referred to this album as his “jazz album”. It is likely not his only jazz album but it’s the one he released in 2017 (he released four other albums that year).
The other part of the previously mentioned art installation was called “The 7 Bodies” and Louis performed seven improvisations, one for each body. Track two on the album is titled “Physical Body”, and is one of my favorites on the album. I can imagine Louis performing this one at the concert and deeply touching every listener in the audience.
Tracks three through eight are the remaining six bodies. “Mental Body” sounds as though it’s alternating in and out of key. It reminds me a little of the model jazz I’ve heard from Miles Davis and John Coltrane. The next one, “Emotional Body”, is sweet, joyful and another favorite of mine. If I could have just one track from the album, I think it would be this one. Fortunately, I can have them all. “Vibrational Body”, “Spiritual Body”, “Creative Body” and “Ethereal Body” make up the four remaining bodies.
The last track on the album, “Another Perception” was not performed and recorded at the museum concert. Differently, it was recorded in a studio around the same time. However, it fits very nicely with the other tracks and is a great final track for the album. It’s a passionate improvisation that exceeds nine minutes and once again, Landon’s jazz influences shine clearly.
That evening on November 10th, 2017, at the Fort Wayne Music of Art had to be an incredible experience. Fortunately, the music was captured giving those who missed it a chance to “be there”. If you are a fan of Louis Landon and would like to hear more of his jazz side, this album is for your collection. I’m very pleased it’s now in mine.