This is the first time I have been asked to review a music CD and what a CD this is.
Tom Bell is only in his twenties, but he has already made a name for himself as an outstanding pianist and is often described as “a young Jools Holland”.
He is a very accomplished pianist, who is just at home playing classical music as he is with foot stomping boogie woogie.
Listening to his CD I was immediately struck by the brilliance of his playing and as a pianist and organist myself, I marvelled at his outstanding key board skills. It is, however, not just the sound of the music, which is fresh and inspiring: his sense of rhythm is impeccable and the phrasing and touch are wonderful.
I was at first a little concerned that he had mixed two genres of music together – well loved classical pieces with boogie woogie and wondered if this would work on a single CD. I need not have worried, as his choice of pieces worked very well together. I found the more I listened to it the more the pieces seemed to mix well together and complemented each other. Although the pieces all stand alone, listening to them in sequence was a sheer delight.
For example, the brilliant Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, one of my favourites was, complemented by the Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie, a spirited and tuneful piece that I think fitted well with the style of the Beethoven. The Chopin Etudes were lovely to listen to, as was the Honky Tonk Train Blues.
He is not just a performer but is a composer as well and the first track on the album Bell’s Boogie, is one of his compositions. This started the CD off very well indeed – a fast and exciting boogie that had my feet tapping immediately. There are 3 more of his excellent compositions on the CD.
My only concern about this CD is that some people might not like one of the genres and therefore feel it’s not for them. However, I would say give it a listen and you may find that in this case that really will not detract from your enjoyment of the CD as a whole.
Available from www.tombellpiano.co.uk.