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Cornish, Bill: Stories Without Words

You have to hand it to musicians like American multi-instrumentalist Bill Cornish who choose to release albums that don't just rely on one particular style of music. Cornish, who's primary instrument is piano and keyboards, prefers to branch out in as many different directions as possible in order to showcase his diverse musical influences, and his latest release Stories Without Words is no exception.

Like the title implies Stories Without Words is an all instrumental affair and the fourteen tracks served up here range from up tempo funk and R&B, jazz, with elements of classical and world music thrown in as well. Cornish handles most of instruments himself although some songs do feature additional accompaniment performed by a few guest musicians. The album is a seamless balance of bouncy, up tempo tracks and quieter more introspective sounding compositions. The opening cut "Spectral Dancers" along with "Chi-Town Funk" and "Ikimasho" are highlighted not only by their shimmering arrangements, but also by the infectious melodies that remain with the listener long after the songs have finished. However, as much as I enjoyed these buoyant, feel good sounding cuts, the big payoff for this listener was definitely the aforementioned other half of the album, or the more tranquil tracks. "Sunset Cliffs" is a gorgeous piece of music that features a superb, contemplative piano performance, amid an expansive string arrangement that is complimented by the slow burn of the emotional guitar solo that runs throughout. There is no mention of guitars anywhere within the credits of Stories Without Words, so one can only assume that this is Cornish spinning his magic once again. The one-two combination of "The Lake Effect", on which guest musician Joanne Campbell lends some heartfelt violin playing, and "What We Leave Behind", a sparse but highly effective composition containing some fantastic electronic atmospherics, definitely came across as high-points for this reviewer. Other tracks in this vein that are worthy of mention include "Winter, Diamond Lake" and the sparkling final track "Stark".

Stories Without Words is an absolutely stellar listening experience from beginning to end. If you've yet to discover the deep and richly rewarding music of Bill Cornish, then this album is great place to start.

Track Listing
1) Spectral Dancers
2) Chi-Town Funk
3) Sunset Cliffs
4) Ikimasho
5) Syzygy
6) Perpetual Motion
7) Catwalk
8) The Lake Effect
9) What We Leave Behind
10) Upswing
11) Winter, Diamond Lake
12) Mountain Passage
13) Chaos Theory
14) Stark

Added: April 3rd 2012
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Official Website
Hits: 2613
Language: english

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