California multi-instrumentalist (but mainly pianist) Cheryl Gunn, wife of world-music flutist Nicholas Gunn, debuted with Vanity of Venus (Anagram, 1997), an album filled with references to nature and highlighted by her pseudo-jazz piano.
The album perfects an art in which
piano, electronic and flute themes intersect without colliding but also without
merely repeating each other. It is mostly an art of melodic fragments that
float away, return, change, grow and blossom.
A cosmic breeze fuels Spellbound, while Tides Turned soars
propelled by drum-machines and Vanity Of Venus sleeps in the arms
of a gentle piano melody. But the melodic peaks are probably to be found in the
gentle melancholy of Dark Of The Moon and in the majestic elegance of
The Sun at Midnight (Earthtone, 1999) relies on a more sophisticated
(and upbeat) framework of keyboards, drum-machines and chamber instruments.
Gunn even hums the main theme, The Sun At Midnight, a carefree
pop number that sets the tone for other tracks as well (Echo of Time,
An archaic and an exotic elements prevail, best represented by the pounding tom-toms of Au Par Au Bellum, but also visible in
Venus Over Skies and Seeker's Quest.
The waltzing Mirror of Mercy and The Forever Garden are more
introspective and romantic.
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