Will Ackerman (Grammy-winning producer and guitarist)
“Loren Evarts latest recording, HOME AGAIN, is a joy from the first note. Loren is an accomplished pianist, but it’s the remarkable stylistic range of his compositions and the emotional content of each of the pieces which make the new collection so immediately accessible and rewarding. It is a real challenge for Loren to have bettered his debut recording, WATER AND LIGHT, but he’s done so.”
Home Again By Loren Evarts Written by Steve Sheppard (One World Music Radio, Cyprus)
Loren Evarts is back after his success with his last offering Water and Light
back in 2015, now some three years later, I am honoured to have the
opportunity to once again review Loren’s work, so join me as I take you on
another voyage through the genre of solo piano.
Evart’s doesn’t waste anytime setting the scene and this homely little number
called A Day on the Concord River is absolutely redolent of the subject matter.
This warm and welcoming opus is as delightful as the amazing art work on the
cover of the album, we could easily be right there on the banks of the river
with this charming piece.
I sat for hours the other day listening to this album and just gazing at the cover,
it is so redolent of the contents within and if we listen to Dugong Dance, you
will see what I mean. Now the only Dugong I know of is the mammal and if
this is the case, the artist has created its soundtrack, if not, this is a smooth and
deeply relaxing piece that has such a sweet melody that it’s going to leave you
in total bliss anyway.
On Far and Away we have a totally different sound, this energetic little
composition creates a mood of distance and movement and also has a sense of
longing, mixed with a reflective disposition built nicely into the weave of the
Ktaadn is up next, this slice of solo piano genius seems to take us on a journey
of its own, perhaps through a woodland or forest, somewhere where one can
feel at peace; when I gaze at the mountain range behind my home the music
fits perfectly, and within its refrains I can feel now the power and glory of this
vast vista of this outstanding composition.
I adored the quiet reverie of Sunset Island; I sometimes call our home that, as
nearly every night is the perfect sunset and perhaps tonight I will play this tune
as the sun goes down again. This is one of the most colourful pieces off the
release, one that will leave a smile of contentment on the faces of all who
listen to it.
As we move towards the middle of the album, we arrive at the doorway of a
soothing piece redolent of the subject matter of its title, Evensong. As the
sunset begins to wain and night clouds drift across the horizon, we listen to the
perfect tones of this composition, to allow the energy of this moment to fill our
We now find ourselves at the musical shelf entitled “the title track” and of
course that just has to be Home Again. Time to gaze once more at the front
cover of the album and you will be right there. Once again Evarts pulls off such
a warm and friendly performance on piano as we arrive at our very own
musical sanctuaries of sorts.
There is a slight reflective motif on this next piece called Outermost House,
perhaps we are on the very borderlands of the village, and from here on in a
wide range of free land can be seen falling before us. The performance here is
sublime at creating a narrative of suspense and memory.
The happy refrains of Wedding at Sunrise is now upon us, it is as if we have
safely navigated the night and our reward is the wedding, of course this could
be a wedding of a different type, perhaps even the re-joining of the past and
future, but none-the-less Evarts has created something quite breathtakingly
beautiful here, with a really moving sense of rhythm as well.
Anything to do with lakes, rivers and storms always grabs my attention; I have
a love for nature than can never be equalled. Here Evarts creates a portrait of
Baker Lake and in just over three minutes manifests something so descriptive
and artistic, that one truly feels like they are sitting by the lake itself, the piano
at times also sounds like the windblown ripples across the water.
Nine Mile Bridge is our penultimate offering on this journey, it is filled with a
narrative of deep and meaningful memories, while the piano flows like the
river under the bridge, there is also a defined and distinct sense of deep
thought here, it is as if one is trawling over old times whilst gazing over the
bridge, there is also a moving and powerful energy about the construction of
this track that needs to be carefully listened to as well.
So we arrive at the last doorway of the album we now fondly know as Home
Again. Evarts finishes with the perfect ending track, through the music, one
can see shards of sunlight move across the room and the light creates dappled
shadows of memories as the piece plays out. The Good Life for me seems to
sum up the whole album, and a sense of gratitude can be found solidly within
the frame of the arrangement.
Home Again by Loren Evarts is another classic album in the solo piano genre;
this release is the holder of many memories and reflections, and Evarts the
master builder of those magical musical moments. This has to be one of the
most contemplative albums I have listened to for a long while and one that I
would recommend in a heartbeat.
Joyful contemporary piano Loren Evarts – HOME AGAIN: When you get a compliment from your producer that says your album is “immediately accessible and rewarding”, you have cause for joy (especially when the producer is a master musician like Will Ackerman)… Loren is actually an accomplished player in many genres – rock, jazz & (of all things), disco… as you listen to his joyful contemporary piano on tunes like “Sunset Island“, with it’s rich, deep left-hand tones and brightly shining upper registers, you’ll realize that he is an artist who has magic coming out of his hands… I just love this tune (perfect for cruising the summer mountain roads up here in the Great Northwest in my GTO, I’ll tell you).
The title track, “Home Again“, will certainly give you images of pulling into your abode after a long and tiring trek… what I most like about Loren’s playing style is his straightforward, yet calming, mesh of chords with the high-end notes… this gives him an “edge” over many other solo pianists, because it allows him to push what he’s feeling right out through his keyboard into your ears.
There are eight brand-new originals on the twelve-tune album, and one that really reached down deep into my heart is the 3:05 “Baker Lake“… a part of that emotional attraction is the wondrous overtones he achieves via his keyboard on this piece (you can really hear those overtones right at the end of this performance)… stellar playing on this piece, to be sure.
Loren has been in music for over 40 years… as a performer, composer, arranger and teacher… his well-honed skills really impressed me, especially on pieces like my personal favorite of the dozen beautiful songs offered up for your listening pleasure… “Evensong” will reach into your very core and help you revisit emotions you’d forgotten were there. I just loved this song!
I give Loren a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this excellent solo piano adventure. Get more information at Loren’s website. Rotcod Zzaj
In 2015, 23 years after the last release from his popular new/age jazz group
Confluence, pianist Loren Evarts made a triumphant return to the instrumental fold with the release of Water and Light, a critically acclaimed ensemble work produced by Windham Hill legends Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton at Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studio. The title of his latest work, the expansive 12 track set Home Again, points to a twofold meaning for the New England based artist. A sweeping, blend of melodic and rhythmic exuberance and more subtle and reflective melodic grace, the album – also helmed by Ackerman and Eaton - marks a long-awaited return to the purity of his home instrument over three decades after his solo piano debut, Water Music.
From bright and whimsical explorations like “Far and Away” and “Outermost House” to more contemplative meditations like “Nine Mile Bridge” and the darker chorded “Evensong,” Evarts is celebrating special, inspirational places he has visited or read passionately about. Harkening back to his debut album, water imagery plays a key role, starting with his re-recordings of gems from that work, including the dreamy and uplifting “Sunset Island” and the lushly flowing “Baker Lake.” Evarts taps into the influence of Henry David Thoreau for the gently swaying “Day on the Concord River” (a musical tribute to HDT’s “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers”). He was even thinking of calling the lighthearted title track “Pooh Sticks” after a water related game mentioned in The House at Pooh Corner.”
Another transcendent moment on this inspiring album is the moody ballad “Dugong Dance,” which finds the pianist contemplating an encounter with the “sea cows” of the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans. Even without the colorful anecdotes about specific locations that he jots on his website, Loren Evarts’ Home Again is a glorious, highly recommended musical journey!
Enlightened Piano Radio
Composed and performed by Loren Evarts
Reviewed by Pam Asberry
Loren Evarts is a music industry veteran. A composer and an arranger, he has performed professionally in the northeastern United States in a myriad of situations for over forty years. He has studied with such noted composers and pianists as Anthony Davis, Neil Slater and David Barnett, has a master’s degree in music education, and has been a teacher himself for many years.
In “Home Again,” Evarts revisits several previously recorded pieces as well as eight new ones with music that commemorates significant places he has seen and books he has read. This album was produced by the legendary Will Ackerman (Windham Hill Records) at his Imaginary Road Studio in Vermont and was engineered by Tom Eaton.
This collection begins with “A Day on the Concord River.” Inspired by the writings of Henry David Thoreau, the ebb and flow of the right hand melody over the ostinato left hand is reminiscent of Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie.” Next comes “Dugong Dance,” a graceful and elegant two-step over rich and resonant chords and a beautifully descriptive sound painting of these cousins of the manatees. “Far and Away” is quiet and contemplative, melodic thoughts flitting rapidly over a solemn bass. “Ktaadn” relates Evarts’ attempt to hike Mount Katahdin in the state of Maine. Although his efforts were unfortunately thwarted by a snowstorm, the music aptly describes his perseverance and his eventual resignation.
“Sunset Island,” re-recorded from the 1985 album “Water Music,” captures the fading rays of the sun with melodic snippets descending over ostinato left hand patterns and chords. “Evensong” pays homage to the choral evensong experienced at medieval cathedrals in England. The title track, “Home Again,” is a personal favorite. Whimsical and exuberant, it was almost named “Pooh Sticks,” as it was inspired by simple game first mentioned in A. A. Milne’s “A House at Pooh Corner,” in which two players standing on a bridge over a body of running water sticks on the upstream side; the winner is the one whose stick first appears on the downstream side. “Outermost House” was inspired by the book of the same title by Henry Beston, which chronicles his year living alone on the dunes of Cape Cod. With its haunting melody and meditative spirit this piece, like Beston’s book, offers an introspective rumination.
“Wedding at Sunrise,” another favorite, joyfully captures the celebration, hopes and dreams of a couple on their wedding day. “Baker Lake,” re-recorded tune from “St. John River Suite,” with its flowing melody flowing over a rippling left hand, moves just like the body of water it describes. “Nine Mile Bridge” is the final re-recorded piece, also from “St. John River Suite,” and borrows its title from the 1948 book written by Helen Hamlin about living on the St. John River in Maine. “The Good Life,” based on the 1954 book by Helen and Scott Nearing about their homesteading life in Vermont, is nostalgic and contemplative and brings the album to a satisfying conclusion.
With its diversity of style and poignant and emotive musical content, this album will be a welcome addition to any solo piano music lover’s library. Recommended!
"Home Again" by Loren Evarts
Album Review by Dyan Garris
Loren Evarts is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger. His most recent release, ‘Home Again,” is a collection of contemporary solo piano compositions produced by Will Ackerman and engineered by Tom Eaton.
Loren holds a Master’s degree in music education, taught for several public and private schools, and is now an instructor for five colleges.
“Home Again” is twelve tracks, four which were previously recorded by Loren, plus eight new compositions. The piano used for this recording is a Steinway B. The album is mellow, smooth, and soul-soothing all through.
Loren opens the album with “A Day on the Concord River,” which nicely sets the tone for all that comes next. Here we can almost feel the light breeze on our face and see the sunlight filtering softly through the trees as we gently canoe along on this peaceful journey. “Dugong Dance,” track 2, is graceful and enchanting. The dugong is an herbivorous marine mammal related to the manatee and the dolphin. Legend has it that the dugong was an inspiration for mermaids. This song perfectly captures those feelings.
“Far and Away,” track 3, is a personal favorite. Dreamy and delicious. “Ktaadn,” a spelling variation of Mount Katahdin in Maine, is track 4. Mount Katahdin is the highest mountain in the state of Maine and has inspired various artistic works. This one is lush and luxuriant, and one I found myself listening to several times.
“Sunset Island,” track 5, is truly gorgeous. Peaceful and resplendent, this brings up images of a charming place untouched and unchanged by time. The elegant and reverent, “Evensong,” (evening prayers), was stirred by Loren’s many visits to medieval cathedrals in England.
Track 7, title track, “Home Again,” has a light, whimsical feel, and was almost named “Poohsticks” which is game from a Winnie the Pooh book The House at Pooh Corner.
“Outermost House,” track 8, is full and splendid. I really love this one. “The Outermost House” was a small beach cottage refuge sitting high atop a dune on Cape Cod and belonging to writer Henry Beston, who spent a year there chronicling life on the beach. One can actually feel that “beachy” perspective through Loren’s excellent composition.
“Baker Lake” and “Nine Mile Bridge,” although a bit more somber, are equally as likeable as the rest of the album. “Wedding at Sunrise” is perfectly evocative of a joyful day – any joyful day; a celebration of life. “The Good Life,” gentle, ultra-melodic, and contemplative, winds up the album very nicely. This composition prompts us, perhaps, to give some thought to what ultimately makes life “good.”
Comforting, yet not so “comfortable” as to be boring or insipid. Sophisticated and unique, yet completely unpretentious. Glamorous, yet elegantly classic and classy, “Home Again” by Loren Evarts, is an album you will want to come home to again and again. Beautiful and recommended.
CD Review: Home Again by Loren Evarts posted on May 21st, 2018 by Simon Barrett in Blogger News Network Music Reviews
Loren Evarts is a very accomplished musician and Home Again is one of the best Solo Piano albums I have heard in a while. I am not a classically
trained musician so I can not comment on Timing or Chord Progressions or any of the other technical stuff that experts whip out in learned discussion, I am a layman, and “I knows what I like”, and I like Home Again.
I am sat on the deck, listening to Home Again and watching the rainfall. It is that refreshing spring rain that brings with it the smell of renewal. In the distance through the haze of the rain I can see the large Magnolia trees in full bloom. What a great place to enjoy this music.
What I find amazing is Loren Evarts musical journey to create Home Again. His Bio on the website begins with:
Loren has performed professionally in the CT area in a variety of musical situations for over 40 years. He has played and sung in rock, jazz, and even a disco group, as well as a Portuguese band, when he was 15. He was leader, composer and arranger for the new age/jazz ensemble Confluence, and Sliders, an eight-piece band featuring 5 trombones. Besides keyboards, he has been known to perform on trombone and hammered dulcimer, and sang second bass in Chorale Connecticut. For 10 years he was the organist/pianist at North Guilford Congregational Church and is currently at Milton Congregational Church in Litchfield.
He certainly has had an interesting career. I went exploring on YouTube and found this piece from Home Again. I was unable to unearth any Trombone adventures but did catch him on the Hammered Dulcimer.