Flight 14 directs Gronau's talents in a new direction with multiple sources of inspiration. The music resolves the grief from personal loss, but also celebrates the start of new chapters in life. The title track was inspired by a flight to the Bahamas in a small plane. It's a musical smorgasbord.

There are twenty tracks on this album, which gives Gronau a lot of time for developing ideas and experimenting with sound and layers of sound. Some of the songs feature solo piano or keyboard with relatively spare musical textures. The emphasis is on melody and melodic motifs floating in time and space. Track 2, Magic Tree, is a haunting series of piano motifs. Track 3, Night Train, incorporates a saxophone and a loose rhythm track at a walking pace. Track 4, Lend Me Your Heart is a lyrical keyboard song with some background textures.

Track 6, Prince (Of Darkness) includes a sung-spoken voice track with an upbeat jazzy accompaniment. Track 9, Market, is a series of sounds and keyboard effects that float over a rhythm track. It gives the impression that the listener is walking through an outdoor marketplace and experiencing a variety of sights, sounds, smells, and textures. Track 11 is Flight 14, the title track. This is one of the most exciting pieces in the collection, with a driving rhythm and multiple layers of keyboard and synthesizer effects punching the action and momentum forward. Track 12, The Cleaning, follows the title track with a relatively simple piano piece. Track 15, Elegy, is another winsome and expressive piano composition.

Heaven, Track 16, returns to the denser, more richly orchestral textures. It has an outer-space ambiance appropriate to the title. Track 20, What I Forgot To Say, completes the CD with a virtuoso piano composition.

The music on this CD is accessible, but it has a much more personalized and intimate feel than Gronau's “Visions” CD. The tracks clearly represent different states of mind, moods, and whimsical sources of inspiration. Although the textures change from the stark solo piano tracks to the more typical rhythmic new age-jazz fusion, the tracks all hang together pretty well. The moods range from mournful to extreme liveliness, and this aspect of “Flight 14” is more at variance than the sound textures. From that standpoint, the listener might select certain tracks for a playlist to provide a certain focal ambiance. There certainly are plenty of tracks to choose from! 

Flight 14 shows Gronau's depth and range of expression, and the way he deftly manipulates different melodic construction and sound combinations to produce different emotional palettes. It's like Pictures at an Exhibition composed in a thoroughly modern idiom.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Uwe Gronau
Time Rider Music, 2013
20 tracks, 1 hr 9 minutes
Available online from CDBaby.com, Amazon.com, and from various digital download locations such as iTunes.
For more information, see: myspace.com/uwegronaumusic (English language site)

We have several reviews of other titles by Mr. Gronau:
Visions
Time Rider
Midsummer

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