If you’re looking for a quick way to unwind after a hard day’s work, then Mary Louise Knutson’s newest CD In the Bubble is just the thing for you. With her warm and inviting style, this jazz pianist and acclaimed composer will ease your worries and bring you to that happy place you’ve always believed existed, but could never reach.
In the Bubble is an endearing lyrical collection of original works and unique arrangements of jazz standards. Knutson’s polished instrumentals and accompanying support by bassist Gordon Johnson and drummers Phil Hey, Greg Schutte and Craig Hara make for an exquisite listening experience. The caliber of talent listed here is quite high, yet these musicians feel no need to throw it in our collective faces and show off. Instead, their effortless playing creates a natural flow throughout the album that relaxes every part of your body. You can’t help but surrender yourself to the melodious strains of sound floating above your head as you follow along. “Sea of Qi” is a perfect example of this with its light and radiant aura, reminiscent of watching the currents of the ocean at sunrise.
Standout tracks include the opening number “It Could Happen To You” which features a sassy, swing vibe that transitions into mellow jazz; “Bernie’s Tune” with its mischievously catchy chords; and “Can You Hear Me Now” because of its bouncy energy. However, it’s Knutson’s reharmonizations and gospel-infused interpretation of “You Are My Sunshine/ Luminous” that will probably take your breath away in the end.
Jazz fans will be pleasantly delighted with Knutson’s efforts on this project. I would definitely recommend In the Bubble for those looking for peace of mind and a brilliant example of what it means for an extremely gifted musician to “tickle the ivories.”
For more information on In the Bubble, please visit Mary Louise Knutson’s website.