Apologies to Karim Kamar, who released an excellent album of solo piano music this past Friday, but when pitted against a 50-song, two-and-a-half hour compilation from David Wenngren and 1631 Recordings, it's tough to earn AOTW honors. Volumes one through four of the Piano Cloud series never topped 20 tracks, so the sheer number of collected pieces on volume five comes as quite a surprise, though a welcome one. The highlights are numerous, but a few immediate standouts include Gabriel Olafs' Klaki, Bruno Sanfilippo's Amoris, Logan Nelson's Concentric, and Peter Broderick's toe-tapping closer, We Rejoice! Admittedly, this reviewer had to chop the album up into digestible chunks, and has not had time to revisit it at all, so other favorites are sure to emerge as more time is spent listening. When pieced together, though, the entire album is an absolute stunner.
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