Places, Times & People collects pieces David Borden wrote between 1978 and 1994. Not as focused or important as his series The Continuing Story of Counterpoint, this CD still makes a thoroughly enjoyable listen. The first three pieces belong to a series called Places, Times and are inspired by the landscapes and scenery of Ithaca, NY (these had been previously issued on vinyl). "Enfield in Summer" constitutes the album's summit, a tight composition with many keyboard voices mischievously running around, very reminiscent of the music of Borden's 1970s ensemble Mother Mallard. The other pieces are musical portraits of some of his acquaintances, written to commemorate an event or presented as birthday gifts. One must forget the mundane settings of these pieces (although some, like "For Bob Haskins," a pastiche of Philip Glass, would make no sense without their context) and simply listen to them. Borden goes from ambient soundscapes ("For Laurie Spiegel") to contemporary piano playing (on "Unjust Malaise"), but mostly remains into his usual field of keyboard music. Some of these pieces fall a bit short, although they still remain very decent. Places, Times & People is not a must-have, Borden has more essential titles in his discography, but it is worthwhile, if only for the first three tracks.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture