Simply put, Ice - Piano Slightly Chilled, the latest golden piano gem from Fiona Joy Hawkins, is a big "wow." In whatever category you feel this belongs (New age? World? Soft rock? Jazz fusion?), melody rules the day here.
Is this someone with true skill and appeal? Let’s see. She was awarded "Best Piano Album" for her classical release Angel Above My Piano (oh, is that why her playing has that celestial touch?). Her first album Portrait of a Waterfall charted at #1 on the NAR World Charts in 2005. She has been approached by five-time Grammy Award winner and founder of Windham Hill Records, Will Ackerman, to record an album with him later this year. She was nominated twice for the MusicOz Awards (2006 & 2007). I think she answers the "skill and appeal" question with a resounding "yes."
Upon hearing this album, I was immediately convinced that this artist’s knack for combining the color and arching appeal of other genres (jazz, rock, etc.) on both her high energy and serene pieces clearly identifies her as someone to take seriously. The first two tracks, "Iced Rain" and "Cloud Chill," set you up in extraordinary fashion for more to follow. I was already "hooked" by track three. The "brrr" you feel from this ice/chill-themed project may just be coming from your spine from the electric thrill, as there is no way that this offering can leave you cold. One is simply compelled to appreciate the original and genuinely thoughtful arrangements and the quality of the phrasings, rhythms, and melodies throughout.
Here is a vastly unique take on hybrid music, spanning so many spaces and places within each of us and warming the heart through Ice.