Category Archives: Review

Feel Good Piano Album Review

Feel Good Piano is Louis Landon’s 31st album and was inspired by the desire to help people feel good during these challenging times (and beyond). Warm and upbeat, the thirteen original piano solos are a celebration of the good things in life, some of which are easy to overlook and take for granted. Recorded on Landon’s Steinway B grand piano at The Peace Palace in Sedona, Arizona, the pace of the album is relaxed and optimistic, reflecting the multitude of musical influences and experiences that make Landon’s style unique and distinctive. 


Feel Good Piano begins with “In the Flow,” a gentle piece with a flowing left hand pattern and a bright and carefree melody on the right. “Happy Valentine” is a sweet love song without words that envelops the listener like a warm hug. With the right attitude, “So Beautiful” could refer to just about anything if we take the time to notice. This quiet, graceful piece is a wonderful reminder. “Have a Nice Waltz” is fast waltz played mostly at the upper end of the piano, giving it a playful sound and the feeling of innocence. One of my favorites, “So Easy” has an effortless swing rhythm that makes me think of Louis’ “Excellent and better all the time!” motto. A slow jazz piece that seems to flow from the heart to the fingers, I really like this one! “Holiday Celebration” has a lively, swirling motion that feels like laughter and good times with family and loved ones. “Waves” is about the peaceful ebb and flow of a calm ocean, perhaps with sparkles of light dancing on the water and a warm, balmy breeze in the air – very relaxing! The hypnotic “Waterfall” keeps a steady rhythm with a repeating pattern on the left hand while the right hand captures the dancing flow of water as it cascades down to the pool at the bottom. Another favorite, the magical “Enchanted Forest,” expresses wonder and awe at all of the beauty discovered during a quiet walk through the forest. “On Our Way” could refer to a number of different things, but I hear the excitement and anticipation of heading into a new adventure – big or small. The album closes with “May Day Celebration,” a joyous ode to spring with an infectious energy that makes me think of laughter and fun in the sun. 

Feel Good Piano is another great album from “The Pianist for Peace” and is available from www.louislandon.com, Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes, and streaming sites like Spotify. 

Kathy Parsons MainlyPiano.com
11/29/2020

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Panama Piano Album Review

Panama Piano is the 30th album from pianist/composer Louis Landon and is something of a musical documentary about a two-week road trip Louis and his partner, Christine, took through the country of Panama earlier this year (2020). I love the variety of music on this album – from bright and lively to relaxed and contemplative. Landon’s colorful jazz roots often bubble up and remind us what an amazing pianist he is. Quite a few of Landon’s recent albums have been improvisations captured by the recording process. He started putting this album together by thinking about the places that they visited and his feelings about those experiences and then improvising. Instead of compiling those improvisations into the album, this time Landon went in a different direction and composed the thirteen pieces that make up the album using the ideas and melodies that came up during the improvisations. Quite a few of the tracks are available as singles, but the full album will give a more complete experience. 


Panama Piano begins with “Pan-American Highway,” named for a 19,000 mile highway that goes from the southern tip of South America to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Feelings of excitement and movement run through the piece as the adventure begins. “Playa Santa Catalina” is named for a beach town where the travelers spent a couple of nights. The piece is quite rhythmic but relaxed and you can almost feel the warm ocean breezes. “Casco Viejo” is Spanish for “Old Quarter,” and this piece is reminiscent of the music from the old dance halls of Cuba. I really like this one! “Las Lajas” describes the pleasures of a serene walk on a deserted and unspoiled beach. “Panama” is vibrant and energetic, and I think anyone who knows Landon’s music would recognize this one as his creation. Pelicans have been my favorite birds to watch for most of my life, and anyone who has had the good luck to watch these amazing creatures glide through the air and then dive for food knows what I mean. “Pelicans” was inspired by watching this happen, and is composed as a slow, graceful waltz. “Boquete” is a small town adorned with tropical flowers everywhere. The album cover features a photo Landon took of a brilliant rainbow that appeared during their stay. The piece is mostly relaxed with a gentle rocking rhythm, but a few passages boost the energy level and then settle back down. “The Lost Waterfalls” is another favorite. Landon did a great job of capturing the feeling of falling water as well as the joy of finding three large waterfalls and being able to experience them without a lot of other people around. I love “Diablo Rojo” (“Red Devil”), a wonderful jazz piece about the rogue buses of Panama City that are brightly painted and roar through the city streets with music blaring. I dare you to keep your feet still while listening to this one! “Volcan Baru” is an active stratovolcano and the tallest mountain in Panama. Chords and octaves in the deep bass of the piano evoke feelings of majesty and power while the melody hints at beauty and grace. We end our Panamanian excursion with a spicy chicken soup called “Sancocho.” The piece begins slowly, but it’s not long before a lively Latin jazz rhythm takes over and sends the spirits soaring. 
Panama Piano is an excellent diversion from the doldrums of 2020! Great music, joyful piano and a mix of excitement and relaxation are just what we need right now!

The album is available from www.LouisLandon.com, Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp. 

Kathy Parsons MainlyPiano.com
11/27/2020

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Two New Album Reviews by Kathy Parsons of mainlypiano.com

Thanksgiving Piano Cover Final  Southwest Solo Piano Cover small 600

Southwest Solo Piano Louis Landon
2020 / Landon Creative, Inc.
56 minutes
I’ve lost track of how many albums pianist/composer Louis Landon has released, but Southwest Solo Piano is the twenty-seventh album of his that I’ve reviewed! A lifelong career musician, Landon has played and performed with some of the best artists in a variety of genres, but it is his original solo piano music that really defines him as an artist. Louis has made his home in the Southwest region of the US for the past several years, and his music has become much freer and more expansive. It is the beauty of the area that inspired the fourteen tracks on this album, and Landon explains his process: “The way that I created the music on this album was by visualizing some of the most beautiful places and then improvising music based on the thoughts and feelings that came up.” The titles of most of the pieces indicate the places that inspired them. The album was recorded at The Peace Palace, Landon’s home recording studio, and then mastered by Joe Bongiorno at Piano Haven Studio in Sedona, AZ.

Southwest Solo Piano begins with “Agave,” one of my favorites on the album. Inspired by some of the very distinctive plants of the Southwest, the piece has a swiftly-moving flow that is both uplifting and gently energetic. “Antelope Canyon” is more atmospheric and ambient and seems to suggest the shimmering beauty of the heat of the day and how it slows everything to a relaxed pace. Vast and expansive, I really like this one, too! “Apache Trail” is quite different. The left hand keeps a steady drum-like rhythm while the right hand dances freely on the piano keys. Lively, yet darkly mysterious, it has a distinctly Native American feel. “Tuscon” has a light and breezy mood that is both carefree and joyous. The hypnotic “Monsoon” is another favorite. The left hand keeps a steady rhythm while the right hand is much freer and occasionally cascades down the piano keyboard to emulate the dramatic, heavy rainfall. “Bandelier National Monument” is named for an area in New Mexico that preserves the homes and territory of the Ancestral Puebloan’s. The homes are dwellings built into rocky hillsides and the surrounding areas are majestic. The piece creates a lovely blend of mystery and reverence – and yet another favorite! “House Mountain” is near Sedona, AZ, and the piece with that title is slow and expressive, conveying awe and wonder. “The Grand Canyon” closes the album with a bluesy gospel feeling that I makes me smile every time. Big and celebratory, it’s the perfect close to a great album!

If you’ve never visited the Southwest, this album will certainly kindle your desire to see it for yourself. If you have been there, Landon’s musical imagery will take you right back! The album is available from www.LouisLandon.com, Amazon, iTunes and many streaming sites. Both thumbs up!

April 19, 2020
Thanksgiving Piano
Louis Landon
2020 / Landon Creative, Inc.
53 minutes
Thanksgiving Piano is the second solo piano album by pianist/composer Louis Landon to be released in 2020. Several of the fourteen original tracks have a theme of gratitude and some are about the fall season. The album was recorded over a five-month period at The Peace Palace, Landon’s home recording studio, on his Steinway grand piano. Tim Jessup mastered all but one track on the album and the piano sound is somewhat brighter (but never harsh) than on previous recordings – especially at the high end of the piano keyboard; Michael McDonald in Eugene, OR mastered the last track. Landon is an avid outdoorsman and much of his music has an open, expansive feeling reflective of his time hiking in the Sedona, AZ area as well as other parts of the Southwestern US and beyond. He calls himself the “Pianist For Peace,” which is also strongly indicated in his music.

Thanksgiving Piano begins with “Thanksgiving,” a smooth and mellow reflection on what we are most grateful for in our lives – and a lovely way to start the album. “Autumnal Equinox” has a light and breezy feel while celebrating the majesty of the fall colors and seasonal changes. “Rocking Chair” is one of two singles that came out before the release of the full album and has a relaxed, easy-going spirit that could easily serve as a lullaby – or at least an invitation to sit and “rock a spell.” “Contentment” is even more relaxing, expressing the warmth and calm of inner peace with a gently hypnotic left hand pattern and a freer, more dynamic right. “Melancholia” is one of my favorites. More pensive than dark, it has a quiet energy and a feeling of moving forward that I really like. “It’s Complicated” is my favorite piece on the album. Strongly melodic, it seems to be telling a story – undoubtedly a rather complicated one! I love the crossovers into the deep bass of the piano as well as the sincerity of the melody. “Friendship” is something to always be thankful for and the piece with that title expresses the easy openness that happens with a true friend that we love and trust. In “Inner Space,” Landon uses the damper pedal on the piano to create the feeling of vast space. Played mostly in the upper octaves of the piano, the piece is ambient and spacious as well as peaceful. I also really like “Always Moving Forward” with its uncomplicated left hand pattern and more emotive right. “After the Rain Forward” has a beautiful moodiness that’s on the melancholy side. The slowly-flowing rhythm and freely expressive right hand create an exceptional pairing that evokes a variety of visual images. “We Give Thanks” is the second single released prior to the full album, and brings the album to a warm and thoughtful close.

The consistently high-quality of Louis Landon’s albums is amazing considering his prolific musical output and Thanksgiving Piano is no exception. It is available from LouisLandon.com, Amazon, iTunes and many streaming sites.

April 22, 2020

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Solo Piano Space Traveler Review

landon_space_traveler
Solo Piano Space Traveler
Louis Landon
2019 / Landon Creative, Inc. 
45 minutes
 
Solo Piano Space Traveler is the third album pianist/composer Louis Landon has released in 2019 (he has released a fourth since then!) and is truly one of my favorites from this extremely prolific artist. A Steinway Artist who is also known as a Pianist For Peace, Landon has had a very rich history in a wide variety of music genres and has been a lifelong professional musician. He performs regularly in my house concert series, so I was able to see and hear him perform several of the pieces from this album just last month (and in the comfort of my own living room!). I love the easy-going, positive energy that flows through this music (even though that sounds like an impossible combination)!
 
Solo Piano Space Traveler begins with “Space Traveler,” a piece with a flowing, almost ambient right hand contrasted with rolling broken chords on the left. It’s fascinating how well it works to have one hand quite structured and the other more free to go wherever the music leads. “The Final Conversation” tells a colorful story without words. Some passages seem almost playful while the mood darkens and becomes more poignant as the piece evolves. “Idyllic” takes a more classical turn with a slow, graceful melody and feelings of serenity – gorgeous and so soothing! “Freedom” is a whirlwind of piano keys (and the fingers that play them!) with a “hidden” melody that emerges within that flurry. I’m sure the sheet music for this one would be very black! “Waltz Like There’s No Tomorrow” is another favorite. It begins at a medium tempo that gradually increases in speed and exhilaration, reminding us to live in the moment and “dance like no one is watching.” The quick broken chords in “Rolling Along” give it an energetic forward motion and yet the piece feels relaxed. “Easy Country Living” has a very “Americana” style that makes it easy to picture the open plains and a less-complicated lifestyle. “Hand In Hand” is a love song, pure and simple. The slower tempo expresses the peaceful contentment of being with someone you love. “Don’t Worry Little One” is played mostly on the upper half of the piano keyboard, offering gentle reassurance while expressing the innocence of a child. “Wandering” is another favorite with its easy rolling chords and tranquil mood. Love it! “New Day Celebration” has an infectious bluesy/gospel influence that just makes you feel good! “A Day in the Life” (not The Beatles’ song!) brings the energy level back up and ends the album with an expression of joy (and of trying to get everything done!).
I don’t know how long Louis Landon can continue to release four or more albums each year, but I’m sure enjoying his amazing output! Solo Piano Space Traveler is available from www.LouisLandon.com, Amazon, iTunes/Apple Music, CD Baby and many streaming sites. A great album!
Kathy Parsons  MainlyPiano.com
11/13/19

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Heartfelt Solo Piano Review

51 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons

Pianist/composer Louis Landon continues his incredibly prolific creative streak with Heartfelt Solo Piano, the second of four albums of new music released in 2019. Many of Landon’s albums are geared toward healing and are more meditative and soothing, but this one has a powerful range of emotions and dynamics. All but one of the fourteen tracks were recorded at The Peace Palace (Landon’s home studio in Sedona, Arizona) and the album was mastered by Joe Bongiorno at Piano Haven, also in Sedona. One of the most accomplished pianists in the genre (in several genres, actually!), Landon can do absolutely anything he chooses at the piano and make it sound effortless and wonderful!

Heartfelt Solo Piano begins with “Innocence,” the perfect title for this gentle piece of musical tenderness. I sometimes wonder if anyone remembers what innocence is anymore, so this is a lovely reminder! “Sweet Honey” is light and carefree with a playful lilt. “Sweet Sadness” conveys the feeling of an honest and intimate conversation where both people are communicating from the heart. “Foreign Lands” is the first of several favorites. I love the energy of the rolling broken chords in the left hand, the somewhat exotic melody on the right and the shifts from major to minor chords throughout. “Have No Fear” cranks up the energy level several notches with a swirling melody built around a descending chord progression. “Epic World” is my favorite piece on the album. Passionate and dramatic, the themes vary from poignant to fiery and show what an amazing pianist Landon is. This one has a very big “wow!” factor as well as a ton of emotional expression. “Resting In Grace” is another favorite. Expressing compassion and hope with warmth and honesty, it feels like a loving hug. The gorgeous melody in “Remembering” says more than words ever could as it reaches into the soul with deep emotion – I love this one! “Viva” is a high-energy thrill ride that swirls and dances for joy. “Day of Reckoning” is much darker and more serious, as the title implies. “Pure Joy” is a piece recorded at a live performance and I suspect it’s an improvisation (Landon is a master of improvisation!). It moves effortlessly from smooth and easy to up-tempo gospel without batting an eyelash and, judging from the audience reaction at the end, it was obviously a real crowd-pleaser – AND a great way to end this excellent album!

Heartfelt Solo Piano is a winner from beginning to end! It is available from http://www.louislandon,com, Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby and many streaming sites.

December 2, 2019
Heartfelt Final Cover-001

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November News 2017

Happy Fall!🍁Happy Halloween!🎃
Christine and I took a
little trip to Winslow, AZ
No, that’s not Christine! That’s
a Jackson Browne statue. 😎

All press is good press,
especially good press.
Music In His Soul” by
Shea Stansfield  

Peaceful Solo Piano Christmas 2
officially releases on Nov. 12th.
Please support the pre-release.


CDs available here

See all Peaceful Christmas 2
sheet music here

sheet music ebook – $20
order here

hard copy book – $30
order here

CONCERT DATES

Friday, November 10th
Sedona, AZ 
Solo Piano Concert featuring Joe Yamada,
Joe Bongiorno and Amy Janelle. I will be
making a short guest appearance.
Suggested donation $20. RSVP here 

Friday, November 10th
Fort Wayne, IN 
Private VIP concert/party
for glass artist Peter Bremers‘ opening
“Looking Beyond the Mirror”
at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art

Thursday, November 16th
Sedona, AZ 
This solo piano concert is a benefit for
Big Park Community School and will support
the emerging International Baccalaureate
program. Featuring Joe Bongiorno,
Amy Janelle, and Louis Landon.
Tickets are $25 in advance $30 at the door.
at the Collective, Vista Hall
7000 St. Route 179, Sedona, AZ 86351
Tickets are $25 advance, $30 at the door
Buy tickets online You can also get tickets
directly by emailing me. 

LINKS

Check Tour Dates
for complete listing of performances if you are
looking to book me and need to know availability.

To sample and buy SHEET MUSIC.
To sample and buy CDs.
To buy CD DOWNLOADS.
You can also download music at:
iTunes – Amazon – CDBaby.
Create a Louis Landon station on Pandora.
Follow me on Spotify and create
a Louis Landon playlist.
Be a fan and “like” my fan page on Facebook.
Follow me on Twitter

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Music Is In His Soul

10/25/17

Shea Stanfield in The Foothills Focus
Arts Columnist

“To create a more loving and peaceful world by writing, recording, and performing music from the heart”: A motto local musician Louis Landon has built his career around. By all indications, from his concerts, recording schedule, and fan feedback, Louis is spot-on in his mission.  read more…

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Healing Piano of Sedona – Sheet Music Book Review

healing-piano-new-sheet-music-cover-jpg
Healing Piano of Sedona
Louis Landon
2016 / Landon Creative, Inc.
12 pieces / 50 pages
Healing Piano of Sedona is the companion sheet music book for Louis Landon’s 2014 album by the same name. Subtitled “for massage, yoga and relaxation,” the twelve original piano solos are almost as relaxing to play as they are to listen to. Landon is a life-long musician with playing chops to burn, and much of his sheet music can be quite challenging, but because of the nature of this music, several of these pieces are much easier to play than some of his previous sheet music releases. My review copy of the book was downloaded, but Landon’s earlier books have been spiral-bound, and I assume the hard-cover version of this one is, too.
The notation and layout of the music is well-spaced and easy to read. Most of the pieces have suggested pedaling and metronome settings. Several pieces have reaches of a tenth, but most of those chords can be rolled or shortened to better suit the span of smaller hands. (There aren’t enough of those kinds of chords to pose any kind of a problem for most pianists.) Because there are fewer jazz rhythms in this book, most of the timing is easier to count and a few of the pieces have repetitive left hand patterns. Most of the pieces are relatively short (3-5 pages) and there are no difficult key signatures (see below for details). This is a very enjoyable book to play and even though the music is quiet and peaceful, there is plenty of variety from one piece to the next to keep almost any pianist interested from cover to cover. For a description of the individual pieces please see my review of the recording. The songbook is available from www.louislandon.com. Recommended!
The song titles, the keys they are in, and the number of pages are:
BREATHE – Key of C (0 sharps or flats) – 4 pages
SANDS OF TIME – Key of Db (5 flats) – 3 1/4 pages
ASCENDING SOULS – Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) – 4 pages
CHILD’S POSE – Key of Eb (3 flats) – 5 pages
HARP GODESS – Key of B minor (2 sharps) – 3 pages
DREAM WEAVER – Key of Bb (2 flats) – 3 pages
WATER WHEEL – Key of C – 4 pages
PERSEVERANCE – Key of G minor (2 flats) – 3 1/2 pages
GARDEN OF EDEN – Key of Ab (4 flats) – 3 pages
INTO THE DEPTHS – Key of A minor – 3 pages
SOARING – Key of Bb – 5 pages
SHANGRI-LA – Key of C – 3 1/2 pages
Kathy Parsons MainlyPiano.com 10/31/16

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Healing Hearts 3 – Solo Piano Review

Healing Hearts 3 cover art _ Kunaki spec
Healing Hearts 3
Louis Landon
2016 / Landon Creative, Inc. 
63’06”
Louis Landon’s Healing Hearts 3 is the third in a series of solo piano albums that are comprised of improvisations that were created while clients were in session at his Healing Piano of Sedona (AZ). These sixty-minute healing and music sessions consist of forty minutes of mentoring and twenty minutes of music that includes personalized music for the client’s own use. Landon created Healing Piano of Sedona several years ago to help people live life joyously, passionately, and stress- and disease-free. Landon is a Steinway Artist who has been a life-long musician. Healing Hearts 3 is his twenty-first album and fourteenth solo piano collection. Each of the thirteen pieces on the album was inspired by a different “soul journey,” so the music is quite varied although it maintains a very calming and peaceful vibe throughout. 
It is interesting to note that Healing Hearts 3 has the closest to the ideal sound Landon has been looking for on his recordings. He attributes that achievement to the mastering and editing expertise of Joe Bongiorno of Piano Haven Studio, also in Sedona. Landon has been trying to get the sound of a classical concert hall in his Peace Palace studio recordings and this album definitely has that sound, which is exceptionally beautiful – clear, warm and resonant. 
Healing Hearts 3 begins with “Standing In the Light,” a softly flowing piece with a poignant melody that gently soothes the heart – a favorite. “Heart Song” is hushed, intimate and obviously very personal. “Triumph of the Soul” starts out in the deep bass of the piano – very dark and lost. As the piece evolves, it gradually lightens as it moves up the piano keyboard, ending in a very positive place. I’ve often said that the piano is the best instrument to express the sound and feeling of rain and “Night Rain” proves that point again. More energetic than most of the other tracks, the notes flow freely: sometimes smoothly and evenly, sometimes more percussive like big fat raindrops – love it! “Tears” is heartbreak set to music, although tears are so often a big part of the healing process. Such deep emotion is expressed in this piece! Landon wisely follows sadness with “Happy Man,” a lively slice of pianistic sunshine. “Phoenix Rising” begins in the deep bass of the piano, obviously signifying a very dark place or crisis. Over the course of the composition, there is turmoil and pain, but then Landon gradually moves the piece  into the upper end of the piano to a much lighter and more peaceful place – a stunning piece! “Healing Time” is gently uplifting and so soothing and serene that I can actually feel it melting away tension – another favorite. “Music Runs Through Me” flows quickly like a stream with sparkles of sunlight dancing happily on its surface. “Balance” returns to a calm stillness that comes when things/life are in balance. Slow, lyrical and very peaceful, it’s the perfect closing for another great album from Louis Landon!
I have thoroughly enjoyed all three Healing Hearts albums, but I think #3 is my favorite. It is available from LouisLandon.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
Kathy Parsons   MainlyPiano.com    11/4/16

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