Karen Marie Garrett | It's About the Rose

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Classical: Contemporary New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Featuring Piano
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It's About the Rose

by Karen Marie Garrett

"ITS ABOUT THE ROSE is seductively beautiful" Jazzreview.com 2007 NAR LifeStyle Music Awards "Best Instrumental Piano Album"
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. It's About the Rose in the Vase on the Table
5:04 $0.99
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2. Tally's Lullaby
6:38 $0.99
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3. Vinot and the Sea Bird
4:08 $0.99
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4. The Piano Called
3:17 $0.99
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5. Moon Night
3:44 $0.99
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6. Waiting
3:51 $0.99
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7. Beethoven, Chopin and the Rose
3:48 $0.99
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8. Impressions
4:24 $0.99
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9. Tip Toe Dancer and the Sea Pearl
3:52 $0.99
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10. Cafe Espresso (for Ken)
4:12 $0.99
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11. Daydreams
3:58 $0.99
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12. Finale of the Rose
4:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
*** #1 CD OF THE YEAR ***

TOP NEW AGE & CONTEMPORARY INSTRUMENTAL AIRPLAY RECORDINGS OF 2007
New Age Reporter Top 100 Charts

NEW AGE REPORTER, BILL BINKELMAN ...
"What can I write that will do justice to this sublime and beautiful recording? I have put off reviewing It’s About the Rose because I didn’t know how, in words, to capture my reaction to this album, conveying how deeply it touched me. From the opening “It’s About the Rose in the Vase on the Table” and its rolling yet melancholic melodicism to the gypsy-ish “Moon Night” (featuring Derrik Jordan on djembe and violin) to the light-hearted “Café Espresso (for Ken)” which prances and dances around like a little kid overflowing with the joy of the moment to the closing reprise “Finale of the Rose” on which Garrett is joined by stellar accompanists Will Ackerman (who produced this outstanding disc), Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, Steve Schuch on violin and Derrik Jordan once again on percussion, there is no misstep, no over-reach, no wasting of a note or a chord throughout the fifty-one minutes on this recording.

It’s About the Rose is one of the most evocative, deeply felt albums I’ve heard in years, and that statement encompasses many recordings. Comparable to the chamber minimalism of Tim Story at times, yet also more accessible for less adventurous listeners who need a firmer grounding in structured acoustic instrumentation, this is a CD of uncommon grace and elegance, yet never at the expense of becoming distant or overly concerned with technique as opposed to human emotion.

Try to remain unaffected by the gentle caress of cello (played by Eugene Friesen) and Garrett’s piano as they weave a delicate beauty on “Tally’s Lullaby.” Then there is “Vinot and the Seabird” which begins as a sparse piano piece and introduces ethereal wordless female vocals (courtesy of Noah Wilding) and Oster’s flugelhorn, maintaining a distinct reflective mood with some of Garrett’s more nuanced and subtle playing, emphasizing the silence between notes as much as the gently sad melody. “Waiting” and “The Piano Called” are solo piano offerings, both being quiet, reflective and somber, yet wholly accessible, rich with emotion and inviting to the listener despite the amber tint of the minor tonalities and the overall downcast mood of the compositions themselves.

What separates It’s About the Rose from other piano releases is no one thing, but a combination of elements. The quality of performances, the production, and the compositions themselves written (or in one case, co-written) by the artist all factor in; however, in the end, it’s the intangibles that reach out and grab the listener, the same way that a faded photograph of a long-past relative or a dog-eared letter from a former lover stokes the dying embers of memory and rekindles a flame that burns brightly if only for an instant. In the same way that a rainy Saturday afternoon invites us to withdraw inwards, so to does this sublime recording take us deep within ourselves. It’s About the Rose is so beautiful and so touching that it may reduce you to tears, but they may just be tears of fond remembrance, not sadness. The CD earns my highest recommendation without reservation."

JAZZ REVIEW.COM, TOM SCHAEFER...
"I have to admit that I approached Karen Marie Garrett’s CD “It’s About the Rose” with some trepidation. I am not a great lover of the New Age music genre. Also the prospect of a theme CD centered on the beauty of the rose caused some additional foreboding. But I had my prejudices quickly removed by this absolutely enchanting effort.

When people think of emotional music, they generally picture a Beethoven symphony or Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, but emotion can be subtle and nuanced without the use cymbals or timpani.

It’s About the Rose reminds me very much of Erik Satie, in fact. Both Satie and Garrett have a minimalist style of piano composition. The easy, almost ambling manner of the music belies the deep emotions that are being conveyed. Garrett displays an incredible virtuosity without the flourishes of a Chopin or Beethoven. Yet the subtlety of the music compels you and draws you into the emotions that Garrett is hoping to evoke. It’s About the Rose is a seductively beautiful effort."

WILL ACKERMAN, founder Windham Hill Records, gold/platinum producer, and Grammy Award artist....
"Karen Marie Garrett’s previous recording, “Allure of Sanctuary”, offered an abundance of melody and emotion, making it truly a remarkable debut. Her latest recording, “It’s About the Rose”, presents an absolutely stunning evolution in musical styles, textures, virtuosity and emotional depth. She has not departed from what worked so well for her in “Allure of Sanctuary”, but has simply dug deeper to create an even richer experience.”

NEW YORK SOLO PIANO PUBLICATIONS, Kathy Parsons....
"IT'S ABOUT THE ROSE is ... stunning! Her previous release, ALLURE OF SANCTUARY was also exceptional with its melodic emotional depth, but this is quite different. The pieces tend to be more improvised and come directly from the soul without a confining structure. Artists of this stature are able to freely, yet cohesively communicate their musical thoughts, creating moods and wordless dialogs with their instruments. True artistry springs from this place, and if you have ever witnessed it, the experience is profound and mesmerizing.

Garrett obviously took some major musical risks with this new release, but calls the time spent making the album the most creative period of her life - it shows. I don’t often listen to a CD for the first time and keep saying, “Wow!” but that’s what happened here. It’s not the pianistic flash, but the depth of feeling and personal expression that draws you in and won’t let go.... May she always wear her heart on her musical sleeve! Wow!

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Reviews


to write a review

stephen gies

simply superb
simply superb cd. one of the best new age recordings of the year.the lush compositions unfold like the petals of a rose opening in the morning sun, and at times are covered with dewdrops of tears from the beauty of the recordings.
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Deborah Korich


I fully enjoyed this CD and have bought 3 extra copies to give to my friends. I have searched for this CD in numerous places but to no avail. The music captures you with its beauty. I just absolutely love it!
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Kathy Parsons

Wow!!!
“It’s About the Rose” is Karen Marie Garrett’s fourth recording to date, and it is stunning! Her previous release, “The Allure of Sanctuary,” was also exceptional with its melodic emotional depth, but this is quite different. The pieces tend to be more improvised and come directly from the soul without a confining structure. Artists of this stature are able to freely yet cohesively communicate their musical thoughts, creating moods and wordless dialogs with their instruments. True artistry springs from this place, and if you’ve ever witnessed it, the experience is profound and mesmerizing. Most of these songs have a melancholy cast to them, with flowing left hand patterns combined with simple melodies and explorations on the right. Seven of the twelve tracks are solo piano, and the others feature Eugene Friesen on cello, Noah Wilding on wordless vocals, Jeff Oster on flugel horn, Derrik Jordan on percussion and violin, T-Bone Wolk on bass, producer Will Ackerman on percussion, Steve Schuch on violin, and Corin Nelsen on “piano string duding” - consummate artists, all. Garrett obviously took some major musical risks with this new release, but calls the time spent making the album the most creative period of her life - it shows. I don’t often listen to a CD for the first time and keep saying, “Wow!” but that’s what happened here. It’s not the pianistic flash, but the depth of feeling and personal expression that draws you in and won’t let go.

The CD opens with “It’s About the Rose in the Vase on the Table.” The title refers to a story about dealing with life’s little dramas. The notes of the piece aren’t complicated, but the nakedness of the emotions expressed clearly indicate what an artist we are experiencing here. Wow! “Tally’s Lullaby” was inspired by a letter sent to Garrett about a very special dog who had died and how one of Garrett’s previous songs had helped the family cope with the loss. Overwhelmed, Garrett composed this piece with tears in her eyes. A duet for piano and cello, Garrett and Eugene Friesen are truly a match made in heaven. “The Piano Called” is an improvisational piece that came about one night touching the piano keys and listening to what the piano had to say. Gorgeous! “Moon Night” is piano backed by djembe and violin. Stepping up the pace a bit, this piece has an exotic quality and a gentle energy. “Beethoven, Chopin, and the Rose” combines an essence of both composers with Garrett’s own simple melody, and the results are evocative and haunting. “Tip Toe Dancer and the Sea Pearl” is much lighter and is infused with childlike joy and innocence. “Cafe Espresso” is the most rhythmic and experimental piece on the album. Playful and energetic, it expresses a “happy buzz.” “Finale of the Rose” returns to the original theme for further discovery of its coda. An ensemble piece for piano, percussion, flugel horn, and violin, the musicians bring their passions to the point of heartbreak. I can’t imagine anyone not being intensely moved by this piece.

With “It’s About the Rose,” Karen Marie Garrett has established herself in the upper echelons of contemporary pianists. May she always wear her heart on her musical sleeve! WOW!
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Ryan Young

CONTEMPORARY INSTRUMENTAL PIANO MAGIC ON KAREN MARIE GARRETT CD
KAREN MARIE GARRETT
IT’S ABOUT THE ROSE

This is a beautiful CD of original contemporary instrumental music. Pianist Karen Marie Garrett composed all of IT’S ABOUT THE ROSE which is half solo piano and half duets with either cello, violin, flugel-horn or bass. Will Ackerman of Windham Hill-fame produced. The album debuted in the #1 position on the national new age airplay chart.

According to her bio, Garrett was trained as a classical pianist. Her first big inspiration came when her teacher took her to a concert by preeminent classical pianist Van Cliburn. Karen so fully committed herself to her piano studies and practice that her family moved her bed and grand piano into a special room on the far side of their house so she could practice at any hour of the day. In recent years Karen was inspired to write music when she moved into a small isolated beach cottage on the dunes near Oysterville, Washington, and placed her piano in the dining room with picture windows facing the ocean.

Three of the song title mention the word rose -- "It’s About the Rose in the Vase on the Table," “Beethoven Chopin and the Rose” and “Finale of the Rose” – and these are three of the strongest selections. "Tally’s Lullaby," a tribute to pets, is a very nice melody (featuring a duet with cello). Bassist T-Bone Wolk (who has played with artists such as Hall & Oates, Kenny G, Billy Joel) adds some tasty rhythm parts to “Café Espresso” and “Tip Toe Dancer and the Sea Pearl.”

If you like contemporary instrumental piano albums (bridging the gap between neo-classical and new age), you will undoubtedly like Karen Marie Garrett’s IT’S ABOUT THE ROSE. You might argue that any rose is a rose, but this one is fragrant indeed.
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