After circulating among journalists in 2004 under the title Sanctuary, new age pianist Jim Wilson's third album of original compositions finally was released commercially in August 2005 under the name A Place in My Heart four years after its predecessor, Cape of Good Hope. (In the interim, Wilson had issued a Christmas album and a collection of pop covers.) It was of a piece with that album and his debut, Northern Seascape (1999), as an album on which he integrated his piano with lush pop arrangements that employed some notable guests, among them jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and guitarist Davey Johnstone of Elton John's band. With either Brad Cole or Quinn Johnson playing synthesizer and writing the arrangements, the tracks have a stately, orchestral feel even though an orchestra is employed on only one, "Foolish Me." Eric Rigler's addition of Irish flutes and Uilleann pipes on the title track, "Sanctuary," and "Eagle's Flight" gives those tunes a Celtic feel. This is music that leans toward the adult contemporary side of new age, even before Wilson breaks into a lead vocal on the melancholy "Foolish Me." His duet with Marilyn Martin (who also sang on the seasonal album, My First Christmas with You) of "Separate Lives" fame seems equally sad, even if it is nominally a song of romantic fulfillment. Wilson is an accomplished pianist, but his piano playing takes a back seat to the overall sound of his music on A Place in My Heart.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Lili Haydn
feat: Marilyn Martin