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David Lanz: Finding Paradise

Avoiding niches, pianist David Lanz asserts his personality through versatility on Finding Paradise. From the pop-stylish hooks and rolls of “Walk on Water” to the darker downward spirals of “Dorado,” Lanz uses his instrument as a paint box to support memorable melodies covering a nice range. Where the cinematic, orchestral “Tears for Alice” takes its pathos from classically wrought piano details, the “Theme From the Other Side” keys its eerie atmosphere on Lanz’s dark, repeated motif and muted trumpet. Other highlights include a surprisingly effective, meditative and exploratory version of Neil Diamond’s “America,” spotlighting strong sax accents as well as rolling piano, and the solo piece “The Sound of Wings,” which showcases Lanz’s many shadings as a player, weaving from upbeat and jazzy to darker moments of dissonance.

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