The Grammy and Latin Grammy-Nominated composer John Finbury returns with 10 new pieces, where Tim Ray, Eugene Friesen, Roni Eytan, Claudio Ragazzi, Roberto Cassan, Vitor Goncalves and Peter Eldridge help flesh out the intimate tunes in a small ensemble setting.
“Lay Me Down” starts the album with piano and harmonica interacting with much warmth and playfulness, as graceful strings sweep in, and “Final Days Of July” follows with a very soothing classical feel as the cello, piano, and accordion all flow together seamlessly.
Closer to the middle, “Fantasma”, the only track with vocals (although they’re wordless), recruits a cinematic quality, while “Halfway There” benefits greatly from intricate guitar work as the accordion mesmerizes in the lush atmosphere. “Storybook Ending”, one of the album’s best, then finds a dreamy place to reside amid dynamic musicianship between the esteemed players.
Near the end, “My Hometown” dishes out the exceptional melody in the piano focused climate, and “Waltz For Patty” exits with just Finbury’s piano prowess that gets both swift and frisky as well as soft and introspective.
Finbury uses no percussive instruments on American Nocturnes, as he births a very unique version of classical music where jazz and chamber ideas are never in short supply. With an all-star cast on hand, including accordionist Roberto Cassan, who tragically passed away within a week of playing on these sessions, Finbury adds another relative and timeless chapter of inimitable song craft to his catalog.