Mike Garson: The Child Within


The Child Within


Mike Garson (piano)


Conversations with my Family (Resonance Records RCD-1004)

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Mike Garson (piano), Andreas Oberg (guitar),

Bob Magnusson (bass), Gary Novak (drums)


Composed by Mike Garson; arranged by Kuno Schmid


Recorded: Los Angeles, CA, 2008


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Conversations With My Family is a concept album, an introspective tribute to the journey taken by all those who dare the challenges of committing to a relationship and raising children. "The Child Within" suggests the realm of possibilities each of us has before the inevitable burdens of maturity and reason take their toll. Running the tonal table with this opening piece, Garson hits on impressionism, post- modernism, bebop, cool, avant-garde; I hear echoes of Debussy, John Adams, Leonard Bernstein, Chick, Monk, Mingus, Ornette they're all in there. Yet it comes off as an original, intensely personal statement, despite his obvious acquisition of the form from Victor Young's "Stella by Starlight."

Kuno Schmid's orchestration gives these freewheeling solos a foundation of continuity and color. And what solos! Garson's effortless reharmonizations bubble up from a seemingly bottomless well, while the unmistakable Andreas Oberg provides almost telepathic counterpoint, ending in a pentatonic flourish literally cascading off his archtop's fretboard. Child's play, it's not.

Reviewer: Bill Barnes


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