Peter Kater had a playful and successful flirtation with contemporary jazz-funk in the '90s, but he's always been most at home when mastering the true art of new age piano. His Elements Series on Real Music -- a Bay Area label dedicated solely to the art of melodic and rhythmic healing music -- tackles the musical properties of Earth, Water, and Air, in addition to Fire. For the artist, the great appeal is that "when you listen to this music, it's impossible to tell who's leading or following, what's composed or improvised." That's the beauty for the listener as well, who, if willing to let go of the stresses of day-to-day life, will be quickly enraptured by the gentle embers of "The Way Home" and "Twilight," in addition to more passionate meditations like the opening ten-minute track, "Eternal Sunshine." Joining Kater on this fascinating, mellow journey of rebirth and destiny are reed master Paul McCandless, playing whistles, oboe, English horn, and soprano sax, and virtuoso violinist Ludvig Girdland. Like other moments in the Elements Series, there are numerous places for spacious and quiet contemplation, but Fire also features more emphatic, celebratory moments that speak to the inner glow in everyone.
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran