From the classical music he played in his childhood to his later love for pop stars like Billy Joel and Elton John, Loren Gold's life has been defined by his romance with the acoustic piano. Throughout his multi-faceted career as a teacher, musical director, and accompanist on a variety of keyboards, he developed unique interests in all the latest technologies. Yet when he began to compose his own music, the simple power of the ivories kept drawing him home. Gold blends many of his musical experiences and influences on his lush, lilting debut, painting beautiful colors around gorgeous instrumental pop melodies. Gold follows in the tradition of the George Winstons and Jim Brickmans, but enjoys incorporating outside flavors like percussion, synth orchestration, and the flute of producer Nicholas Gunn into the mix. All Around Me plays like a compelling story told on a lush musical landscape, with Gold's trademark tender touch endeavoring into more intense dynamics on various tracks. Highlights are the elegant and wistful opening tune, "Cascade"; the more percussive pop/rock-flavored, low tone-edged "The Magic Mirror"; the film score-like sweep of the title track; the soulful melancholy of "Snow," enhanced by an emotional orchestral harmony and Gunn's dreamy flute; "A Song for Nancy," which incorporates some of the tribal percussion elements prevalent in Gunn's music; the smooth jazz-flavored "Midnight Blue"; and "Searching," the piano/flute duet that launched the whole session.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran