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Music Review: Dr. Linda Reese with Adam Chester – Music 4 Your Heart and 2 Grands 4 Glory

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Dr. Linda Reese is a talented woman. Not only is she an accomplished physician who homeschools her three children, she’s also a gifted piano player. Though she took a double major in music and psychology while in college, she left music behind when she entered medical school. The gift of a grand piano from her family rekindled her passion for piano and has now produced four independent, instrumental CDs.

Fascinated with complex, multi-textured music from a young age, Reese shocked her piano teacher by playing an additional bass line with her left foot at the age of twelve. As an adult she relies upon an additional piano player to supplement her two hands, having left her acrobatic attempts behind her. After discovering Adam Chester, Elton John’s stand in during band rehearsals, she’s partnered with him to record rich, emotive piano music in a variety of styles.

As a self-described eclectic musician, Reese’s varied tastes are most evident on Music 4 Your Heart. Covering a gamut of broadway tunes, classical music, popular tunes, songs from soundtracks, easy listening, and some bonus inspirational pieces, the disc manages to create a unified feel through the soothing, emotive music performed throughout.

Many of the selections are well known and instantaneously recognizable such as “Somewhere,” “Moon River,” “My Heart Will Go On,” “I Can’t Help Falling in Love,” and “All I Ask of You.” With a line-up such as this, one might feel nervous about the production quality. Is this a collection of elevator-music? I’ll admit the thought crossed my mind, but the depth of the performance, and the engaging emotive quality the artists add to their work makes this CD anything but.

Featuring alternating solo pieces performed by Reese, and two piano pieces performed by both Reese and Chester, Reese proves herself a competent solo performer as well as a superb team player. The blended music from the two instruments melds into a seamless tapestry of sound that is delightful to listen to and creates a sense of calm satisfaction whenever it’s played.

Today for lunch when tensions were running high in our family, my husband asked in desperation, “Do you have something you can put on that would change the mood here?” Music 4 Your Heart is the first disc that came to mind, and it did its duty admirably.

In 2 Grands 4 Glory Reese and Chester team up once again; performing an array of traditional hymns and modern songs of praise. In this compilation both Reese and Chester play independently on some tracks. But the majority features the beautiful team music the pair are becoming known for.

One particularly delightful feature of this collection is the inclusion of three distinct versions of the world’s most beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace.” Each fully developed, these renditions vary in mood and pace. From a swinging jazz number, to a smooth, calming version, and then a final majestic delivery replete with trills. While this variety in delivery style is present throughout the disc, 2 Grands 4 Glory still makes for fabulous, soothing background music.

While only Music 4 Your Heart is available for download at Amazon, both discs are available at CDBaby and at Dr. Linda Reese’s own website.

Music 4 Your Heart Track Listing:

1. Velocity of Love
2. Tonight
3. Somewhere
4. Pachelbel’s Canon
5. On My Own
6. Yesterday
7. A Time For Us
8. Moon River
9. My Heart Will Go On
10. I Can’t Help Falling in Love
11. Memory
12. All I Ask of You

13. What a Wonderful World
14. Amazing Grace
15. Breathe

2 Grands 4 Glory Track Listing:

1. Ave Maria
2. You Are My All in All
3. Amazing Grace (Take 3)
4. Give Thanks
5. Hymne
6. Alleluia, Sing to Jesus
7. Weave
8. Doxology
9. How Great Thou Art
10. The Prayer
11. Blessed Assurance
12. Amazing Grace (Take 2)
13. His Name is Wonderful
14. We Gather Together
15. He is Exalted
16. I Sing Praises
17. Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
18. Amazing (Take 1)
19. Breathe

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About Jennifer Bogart