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Classical Music Review

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The More You Know


Composer: Ron Paley
Label: Big Round Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 09 March 2018

Big Round Records release the debut of big band pianist and composer Ron Paley. The More You Know is a mix of original material and elements of "borrowed" works...

'Theme' is energetic, exploring elements of upbeat jazz and classic boogie woogie. 'U of M' is another fast-paced track which dives head first into the genres of gospel and rock and there's a George Gershwin-esque moment or two thrown in for good measure.

'A Beautiful Soul,' and 'P&Q' (which reminded me of the work of Vince Guaraldi) are intricate jazz ballads.

Paley also, rather bizarrely decides to deliver a mash-up arrangement of Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz’s 'Alone Together' and Roy Orbison’s 'Pretty Woman.' It's the most experimental track on the album and on paper it shouldn't work... but it does, and beautifully so too, demonstrating Paley’s gift for transforming the expected into something altogether new.

'Waltz of the Flowers' sees Paley deliver his arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s 'Waltz of the Flowers', reworked as a lounge treat, unlike any other interpretation of the beloved Nutcracker tune. Likewise, he offers us a fresh arrangement of Chopin’s 'Prelude in C-Minor', which brings this wonderfully diverse LP to a close.

Overall, this is an interesting album that explores the genres of Classical, Jazz and Lounge. Beautiful stuff.


Darren Rea

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