Bruce Kurnow

The Nature of Love

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The emotional grabber on this collection of popular love songs is the humble harmonica, which portrays the pathos from "A Time for Us" (from Romeo and Juliet) with raw simplicity. Love songs convey a wide range of emotions, and loss of love makes the songs particularly dramatic. Bruce Kurnow plays a variety of other instruments -- synth (lots of orchestral effects), piano, harp, gu zheng (like a koto), and chimes -- with Bobby Schnitzer adding strength and charm on acoustic guitars. Each song is given its own unique setting. "Sukiyaki," usually overly tangy, is given a gutsy solo performance on the resonant gu zheng, while "Save the Last Dance for Me" gets a snappy solo treatment on the harp. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" is a victorious anthem, both grounded and ethereal. The melody of "Memory" (from the musical Cats) is carried by the harp, while background surf seems to wash away the tears. The harmonica returns for "I Swear" -- and you really believe it!

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