Reviews

John Paris Music

Beautiful Piano Solos

New Age Jazz Fusion

Solo Pianist John Paris

The Joy of Christmas   

John Paris

2015 / John Paris Music

52 minutes


The Joy of Christmas is the follow-up to John Paris’ 2014 solo piano release, The Heart of Christmas, and contains ten traditional carols and four originals all composed and/or arranged in Paris’ inimitable jazz piano style. Sometimes smooth and easy, and sometimes more driving and upbeat, most of the fourteen tracks feel as though they were recorded with a big smile, truly expressing the joy of the Christmas season. Paris was awarded the 2015 Enlightened Piano Radio Jazz Piano Album of the Year for his previous Piano Jazz My Way and The Joy of Christmas clearly demonstrates why. Paris has had a long and very impressive musical career, so it’s a delight to see his musical gifts being more widely recognized and appreciated.


The Joy of Christmas begins and ends with different, very upbeat arrangements of “Go Tell It On the Mountain.” Paris’ walking bass and nimble right hand will grab your attention and get your toes tapping right away. “Joy To the World” is a bit more subdued, expressing the joy of the “good news” with grace and excitement. “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” has the feeling of an easy-going jazz waltz - smooth and relaxed with a tasty assortment of jazz chords to give it a slight edge. I LOVE “Black Boots Boogie,” the first of the originals. If this isn’t pure joy set to music, I don’t know what is! This is my favorite track of the whole album! “Deck the Halls” continues the joyous happy dance on the piano keys, swirling and twirling all over the keyboard. “O Little Town of Bethlehem” recalls Antonio Carlos Jobim’s effortless style and infectious rhythms. The second original track, “Sneaking a Peek (Under the Christmas Tree),” captures the childlike excitement of checking out the mysterious packages under the tree, hoping to not get caught. Paris’ arrangement of “I Saw Three Ships” starts out with a bass line similar to the classic “Green Onions,” giving the song an instant groove that never quits. This has never been one of my favorite carols, but Paris’ arrangement really rocks - I love it! Paris’ own “Snowflakes Silently Falling” goes in a more ambient direction - slow, spare, and very beautiful - expressing the profound quiet of snowfall with occasional flashes of brilliant sparkles - a gorgeous piece and another favorite! “Good King Wenceslas” is classic jazz piano, full of fun and a driving rhythm. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” has a gentler groove that builds as the piece evolves. Beginning as a quiet prayer, “Let Your Light Shine Down” has such a strong melody that I’m sure there must be lyrics for it. As the song goes along, it picks up the tempo, becoming more rhythmic and joyful and then mellows out again. The more thoughtful and reflective “Auld Lang Syne”  overflows with warmth and sincerity - quite possibly my favorite arrangement of this piece. The closing second version of “Go Tell It On the Mountain” ends the album much as it began - dancing all over the piano keys and spreading joy to the world.


If you’re looking for a collection of jazzy and upbeat Christmas carols, The Joy of Christmas is sure to put a big grin on your face! It is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!


Kathy Parsons

MainlyPiano.com


12/2/15

 
 


From performing with the Minneapolis Symphony, to sharing the stage with the Moody Blues and other headlining acts, as well as appearing on the Merv Griffin Show and Jerry Lewis Telethons, John Paris has had a rich and varied career that spans four decades. View full article »



 



Reflections

John Paris

2011 / John Paris

60’20”


Reflections is the second album of original piano solos by John Paris, an artist whose career as a professional musician has spanned more than four decades. Trained in both classical and jazz piano, Paris was a member of the house band at Harrah’s Casino in Reno and played alongside many of the casino’s headliners. Calling his original music “New Age Jazz Fusion,” the fourteen pieces on Reflections are varied in mood and expression, taking the listener on a bit of a spiritual journey. The music was written to be “uplifting, healing, relaxing, and rejuvenating,” and Paris adds, “These pieces came to me spontaneously in a flash of inspiration. I simply open my heart to the Divine Sound Current and let my fingers express what comes through. The music combines New Age melodic sensibility with Jazz harmonies and rhythms to create a new sound.” Despite its complexities, the music is effortless and very easy to listen to both actively and in the background. Mastered at Piano Haven Studio near Seattle, WA, Joe Bongiorno’s engineering genius makes every note clear, clean, and warm. 


Reflections begins with the title track, a beautifully pensive piece that creates a peaceful mood. The graceful, effortless melody can take the listener’s thoughts to a place of comfort and contentment while soothing away the tensions of the day. “Lonely Raindrop” is slow and uncomplicated, expressing wistful and bittersweet feelings of solitude - a favorite! “Cold Winter Night” picks up the tempo a bit and has a slightly mysterious edge. The middle section becomes playful and almost teasing, adding a bit of humor to the piece, and then returns to the original theme to the end. I really like this one, too! “Lady Moon” is a gorgeous ballad that could have been composed late at night by candlelight. Gentle musings convey a variety of thoughts and emotions coming from the heart and speaking the truth. “Early Morning” is light and optimistic with an infectious, carefree rhythm. “Swan Lake Serenade” evokes images of elegant white birds gliding on the surface of the water, graceful and at peace. “The Journey” is a fascinating piece that conveys many different emotions and experiences - a journey of the soul. “Lullaby of the Eternal Dreamer” closes this impressive album with blissful contentment. The gentle melody and flowing rhythm would soothe any dreamer to sleep!


John Paris promises at least one new album in 2012, and I’ll be looking forward to that event! Reflections is available from www.johnparismusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!


Kathy Parsons

MainlyPiano.com


12/26/11

 

John Paris Paints a Musical Portrait



Unburden your ears and relax your senses with the beautiful piano solos of John Paris, an internationally recognized performer of new age jazz fusion. Combining the saucy sensibilities of light jazz fusion with the experimental and soothing nature of new age, this composer and arranger creates fascinating songs filled with inspiring melodies and tranquil rhythms. Now riding the release of his latest album, Reflections, he’s added 14 new original pieces to his already burgeoning repertoire.


Paris’ open and honest love for music shines through on each and every one of his tracks, emitting a type of spiritual enlightenment not typically exhibited by other jazz or new age contemporaries. The songs are all written in a spontaneous, improvisational style similar to Liz Story or Keith Jarrett, adding an exciting, unpredictable flair to the music. Experience some of Paris’ gorgeous musical portraits today with songs such as Cold Winter Night and Lonely Raindrop.


http://newagemusik.ning.com/profile/JohnParis

http://www.johnparismusic.com/


http://www.indiemusicreviews.net/index.php?view=82&PHPSESSID=1ea43520d1f4de4c5a8c2ba015130072

Copyright © 2016 John Paris - Paris Original Music. All rights reserved.

Link to Review by Kathy Parsons

Mainly Piano

Link to Review by Michael Diamond Music and Media Focus

 

One thing you will find in the music of John Paris is diversity. Although it is all performed on solo piano, there is a tremendous stylistic range in his composition and playing. While some artists who attempt this multiplicity of motifs wind up with a mish mash of melodies, in John’s case it all works together, flowing effortlessly and harmoniously, and giving the impression of a body of work. I’m glad that he felt inspired to breathe new life into this music and upgrade its sound quality to the level that it deserves. I appreciate the piano artisty of John Paris – past, present, and future. I say  “future” because I’m looking forward to an album that John has hinted about which draws on his extensive jazz background. Good things are on the horizon for this talented musician.

http://michaeldiamondmusic.com/2013/04/30/journey-of-soul-by-john-paris/#more-3007

Link to Review by Kathy Parsons


http://www.mainlypiano.com/2014_Reviews/Paris-The_Heart_of_Christmas.html


“It seems an impossible task to come up with fresh versions of the Christmas classics, but Paris has done just that. The melodies are very recognizable, expressing love, joy, reverence and playfulness in a song-list that includes sacred and secular carols that will bring listening enjoyment for many holidays to come.”