12 Songs, 49 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Cardplayer3345 ,

Hi

Hi Mr. Gabriel! I'm your choir student and I love these songs! You are SO good at piano!!🎹

CandiceMichelle1 ,

Review from Journeyscapes Radio

Into Eternity is the sophomore release from pianist and composer Jim Gabriel, and follow-up to his debut album, Sojourn. Comprised of twelve compositions recorded at Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont, Into Eternity was co-produced by guitarist Will Ackerman and multi-instrumentalist Tom Eaton. Both are also guest musicians on the album (with Will on acoustic guitar and Tom on electric guitar, bass and accordion), along with Jill Haley on English horn, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, Gus Sebring on French horn, Eugene Friesen on cello, Charlie Bisharat on violin, Tony Levin on bass, and Noah Wilding on vocals.

“From the Rising of the Sun” opens with gently tip-toeing notes in the higher register, eventually blossoming into a vibrant and colorful melody. A gently uplifting introduction, this piece is one of a handful of the album’s solo piano compositions, of which are interspersed among other elegant ensemble pieces. “Winter” is an especially beautiful piece that bears a similar feel to some of George Winston’s works and other classic Windham Hill recordings. Beginning with trickling piano droplets in the higher register, accompanying cello and French horn lend a touch of nostalgia to the composition, which is led by a flowing piano melody that seemingly captures the essence of hurrying through the snow in a winter wonderland, or possibly even a figure-skating couple dancing in an icefield. I’m also especially fond of the title track, “Into Eternity”, a notably atmospheric and contemplative number that features drifty piano chords enshrouded by ambient guitar textures. “First Light” is another particular highlight in which pulsating piano notes in the lower register underlay the composition’s main melody, perhaps mimicking that of an approaching beacon of light. Further complimented by ethereal wordless vocals and suspended flugelhorn notes, the piece brings to mind that of a ship at sea sailing towards a lighthouse in the distance. The likewise especially noteworthy, “Midnight”, is a Coldplay cover that feels appropriately nocturnal and introspective, which Jim has beautifully rendered on solo piano. By contrast, “Americana” is one of the album’s brightest and boldest compositions featuring English horn and cello. Possessing a certain hymnal quality, this piece feels both patriotic and inspirational, as it seemingly paints an image of an old chapel in the countryside. The ninth track, “Goodbye for Now”, lends a wonderful seasonal contrast to the comparatively snowy, “Winter”, with its air of warmth and leisure that’s further enhanced by acoustic guitar and accordion.

Overall reflective with a gentle dynamism, Into Eternity seemingly shifts through the moods and tonalities of both day and night, as well as captures essences and landscapes of various seasons. Each contributing artist lends a delicate touch of added dimension to the listening space, as Jim Gabriel’s often flowing and always elegant piano melodies remain the focal-point of these lovely compositions!

KathyPiano7 ,

From MainlyPiano

"Into Eternity" is the second album from pianist/composer Jim Gabriel. After his superlative 2013 debut, "Sojourn," I’ve really been looking forward to this album and I have to say that it does not disappoint in any way! Gabriel recorded both albums at Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studio, and "Into Eternity" was co-produced by Ackerman and Tom Eaton. Four of the pieces are solo piano and eight are ensembles with the stellar line-up of artists at Imaginary Road. All of the twelve tracks are original compositions and improvisations except for Gabriel’s haunting solo piano arrangement of Coldplay’s, “Midnight.” The music on the album was composed in memory of Janet Gabriel, the artist’s mother, and is dedicated to her. Despite the loss of someone so dear, the music is a celebration of life and a hopeful vision of what lies beyond our physical existence. Overflowing with love, grace and peaceful gentleness, I can’t imagine a more beautiful tribute.

"Into Eternity" begins with “From the Rising of the Sun,” a piano solo that begins very simply and gradually builds. In the opening and closing sections, Gabriel makes as much use of the space between the notes as the notes themselves. “Home” expresses the calm of being exactly where you are supposed to be. The first half of the piece is just the piano, but then Jill Haley (English horn) and Tom Eaton (bass) add their magic and send the piece soaring. I love “Winter” and the crystalline notes that dance around the upper range of the piano. A trio for piano, cello (Eugene Friesen) and French horn (Gus Sebring), it’s a favorite! I also love the title track, a duet for Gabriel (piano) and Tom Eaton (bass and electric guitar). Reverb effects create an atmospheric sense of vast open space and suggest the mysteries that await us there. Despite the many unknowns, this piece is peaceful and very ethereal, reminding me of being in a gently swirling fog - an amazing and inspiring piece! The solo piano “Un Momento Tenero” overflows with compassion and tenderness. “Goodbye for Now” begins with a lovely acoustic guitar solo by Will Ackerman. The piano leads off the second stanza with the guitar returning along with accordion (Eaton) and bass (Tony Levin). The gently-swaying rhythm is wistful and dreamy as the melody touches the heart. “Retrospection II” is the last piano solo on the album and is a sequel to one of my favorites from "Sojourn." Gabriel again uses the pedals for just enough reverb to create a sense of space and to suggest the passage of time. “Distant Memories” is a nostalgic yet gracefully uplifting trio for piano, violin (Charlie Bisharat) and bass (Levin) - also a favorite. “Dreams of You” is a gorgeous quartet for piano, cello, violin and French horn. Poignant, full of longing, and overflowing with emotion, it will likely have you looking for the “replay” button as the album comes to an end!

This is only early-February, but I fully expect Into "Eternity" to be on my Favorites list for 2017. I give it my highest recommendation!