“Tapestry” is Jim Gibson’s sixteenth album since 1996, and
his first of all-original material. His previous releases of “cover” music have
been marketed mainly to gift shops, historic sites, tea shops, and a mix of
other kinds of specialty shops. In the course of doing commissioned work for a
DVD about tea, Gibson rediscovered how much fun it is to create music, hence
his newest release. All fifteen tracks are improvisations, and this time Gibson
chose to record on keyboards rather than a grand piano, utilizing a variety of
keyboard sounds. The son of a piano teacher, Jim Gibson grew up playing music.
He started playing in dance bands in college, going on to teach English and
college Music Industry classes; he worked as a writer/photographer for the
Georgia Department of Education, and then started working as a commercial
pianist some thirty years ago. Gibson’s goal is to create music that is simple,
direct, and relaxing, endeavoring to reduce the noise level in people’s lives.
His cover music is also improvised, and is generally assembled by themes such
as hymns, music of the South, movie and Broadway music, and even music about
tea. The music on “Tapestry” is quietly soothing, unhurried, and warmly
inviting. It is also an unobtrusive musical backdrop for working, dining, and
The appropriately-titled “Wistful Moment” begins the CD,
setting a gentle, dreamy mood. The title track, is a study in pastel-tinted
sounds woven together into an elegant whole. “Hidden Pond” is one of my
favorites, hinting at Satie-like simplicity. “Solace” is played with a rich
guitar sound that is gently soothing and very peaceful. “Blue Valley
Dawn” is another favorite with its quiet grace and optimism. “Simple Song”
resembles a children’s song with its innocence and openness. “Pensivity”
returns to guitar and sounds like late-night musings by candlelight.
Waltz” is a beautiful slow dance under the moon, a graceful reverie. “Slowdown”
is a bit more abstract and unstructured, bringing visions of light dancing on
tranquil water or maybe ripples in a lazy stream. “Windchimes” is also lovely,
with images of a spring breeze invoking the occasional harmonies of beautifully
tuned chimes. “Dappled Light” closes the CD with a gem that moves at its own
pace, much like light moving through shadows, seemingly random, but quite
purposeful after all.
It is always great to hear that a lifelong musician has
found a different direction, and “Tapestry” is a good indication that Jim
Gibson is on the right track with his new endeavors. This and Gibson’s other
CDs are available from www.hickorycovemusic.com, cdbaby.com, and amazon.com.
Recommended for quiet times and for soothing background music.
Reviewed by Kathy Parson's Mainly Piano website reprinted with permission on Ambient Visions