George Davidson Professional Concert Pianist  

Eight years ago in Costa Rica I met a girl who became my gal pal. She took me to a nice place to eat on the mountain overlooking San Jose, the capitol of Costa Rica The place was called "Tara" and is a replica of the mansion in the movie. While we were there the music system played some lovely piano music. We had to ask what was playing. The matre'd popped out the CD and I wrote it down. "Loving You" by George Davidson . I returned to the U.S. and was unable to find the CD for purchase anywhere. Some years later I was at the Veranda in Ft. Myers with my back to the piano and I heard someone playing a song I only heard once before. I wheeled around, rose and walked over to ask your name. I bought the CD ( you signed it) and have since acquired two others. I sent the CD to the girl from Costa Rica. We stayed in touch. A few months ago our relationship changed. We are now living together. You remain a very nice part of our story.

Ken Guard and Ivette Loaiza


Your e-mail came at a good time. I'd been thinking of and playing your music.

I want to tell you that we here in San Diego, CA have just survived a horrible week of fires. The fires were so close to our house that we packed to evacuate. Thankfully the wind turned the fire and we didn't have to leave. But, when packing and considering what our life would be like if we lost everything I choose to take all six of your CD's. I just couldn't see starting all over without your music.

Thanks for all you give us. Another e-mail from ConnieI hope you won't be too insulted when I say that I hadn't heard of you until recently. I have cable TV which includes music channels. I often have it set to "Atmospheres", which is easy listening music. One day recently, I was working at home when they played your song, "Lonely Ballerina". I stopped what I was doing and just sat mesmerized. It was so lovely. I wrote down the name of the song and album, and your name, intent on buying the album. It wasn't easy to find. I went first to Borders Books, since they usually have everything. :) They had nothing by you. Then I went to Tower Records..another store which has a large selection. Again, nothing. Then I went to Amazon.com. They had it. I immediately ordered it. It came today and I've played it over and over for the last several hours. I'm a teacher, so my students got to hear it also! They all loved it! Just thought you'd like to know you have a number of new fans! I'll be looking for more of your recordings! Thanks so very much for recording some of your work! It's much appreciated!

Pat & Mariana


"Reminiscing" is a collection of standards elegantly arranged and performed as piano solos by George Davidson. Most of the selections are from the first half of the 20th century (Cole Porter, The Gershwin Brothers, Rodgers and Hammerstein), and Davidson dusts them off and gives them a new polish, staying true to the style of the originals yet making them his own. Favorite tracks include "Ebb Tide," "Two Sleepy People," "September Song", and "Misty." "Tenderly" and "If I Loved You" are also especially nice. Other titles include "Someone To Watch Over Me," "Night and Day," "Stardust," and "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing," all played in a classic style. If you like gems from this era, few can match Davidson's exquisite interpretations and performing style. Samples are available at www.georgedavidson.com, and CDs can be purchased there or at www.amazon.com.

Kathy Parsons
Solo Piano Publications


"Twin Strings II" is a very interesting collection of instrumental pieces played on piano (George Davidson) with and without viola accompaniment (Ljova), and Paraguayan harp (Eugenio Leon). Most of the songs are very familiar pop songs from the 60's through the 80's, including Roy Orbison's "Crying", Dan Fogelberg's "Longer", Simon and Garfunkel's "El Condor Pasa", and the theme from "Ice Castles". There are some show tunes like "How Do You Keep the Music Playing" and "Never On Sunday", and a couple of movie themes. A few of the harp pieces are not familiar to me, so they may be Paraguayan. The collection also includes a lovely original piece by George Davidson called "What Would It Be Like?" The piano and harp duet of "Can't Help Falling In Love" is wonderful - these two instruments are so different, but blend together so well here. Davidson also does an exceptional job with a very tender arrangement of "With You I'm Born Again" and a achingly beautiful take on Lionel Richie's "Hello". I also really like his version of "Crying".

Both of these musicians are regularly-featured entertainers at resorts in The Cayman Islands, and I would imagine that these are some of their most-requested and popular pieces. George Davidson's playing style is elegant and understated in the grand scheme of pianists who interpret other composers' work - especially when it comes to some of these frequently-played songs. He extensively uses arpeggios and runs up and down the piano, but not to the detriment of a melody, as many pianists do. His playing skills are superb, and his interpretations are fresh and evocative. I wasn't sure I could stand listening to another version of "Ice Castles", but he actually reminded me of why that piece has stayed so popular with it's simple and very pretty melody. I still don't like the song, but I only skipped over it a couple of times in the six or seven times I listened to the CD! That's saying something! I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing this CD, and if you are a fan of new versions of very popular music, I think you'll enjoy it, too!

Kathy Parsons
Solo Piano Publications


George Davidson's sixth album to date is a wonderfully mixed bag of solo piano arrangements and an original piece ("Touched") which is quite possibly the best track on the CD. Davidson is a featured soloist at a hotel in The Caymann Islands, and, usually, "club" styles of piano playing leave me completely turned off with all the trills, arpeggios, and rapid runs up and down the keyboard. More often than not, these pianistic pyrotechnics lose the emotional content of the music, but this is definitely not true of George Davidson. His playing style on some of these workhorses such as "Unchained Melody", "Brian's Song", and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" is fresh and uncluttered.The showmanship is there, but never at the expense of the melody or the meaning of each individual song. It is obvious that Davidson has thoroughly immersed himself in the music to find the soul of each piece rather than just learning a melody and giving it a fancy accompaniment to satisfy a nightclub audience who probably isn't really listening anyway.

The CD opens with Davidson's own "Touched", a lovely and tender piece with a gentle right hand melody and a flowing left hand accompaniment. I definitely want to hear more of George's originals, and wish at least one more had been included in this collection. Two of John Denver's ballads are here; "Annie's Song" is especially effective. Davidson also updates a popular Chopin Etude and breathes new life into it. There is an interesting combination of older and newer standards like "La Vie En Rose", "The Prayer", and "My Foolish Heart". My favorites, however, are the pieces that are less familiar such as "Time to Say Goodbye", "Sad Lisa", and "Murmurs". All of these pieces have a sad feeling to them, and are played in an honest, heartfelt way that communicates beautifully. Davidson's playing is exceptionally good, and he is a first-rate interpreter of music written by others, making the pieces freshly his own. This is far from easy-listening fluff, and I highly recommend it!

Kathy Parsons
Solo Piano Publications


Pianist George Davidson has assembled another eclectic mix of pop hits, movie themes and show tunes, a classical arrangement, and three original pieces. As on his other albums, Davidson's playing is direct and heartfelt, with fresh interpretations of the old as well as the new. I am partial to his original work, and all three pieces on this album really sing. "La Belle Isle" is dedicated to the people of The Cayman Islands, where Davidson is a regular performer at one of the resorts. This piece is full of sunshine and grace, and is a lovely opening for the album. "Lisa" is a love song, pure and simple in both content and in its message. "Joie de Vivre" is one of Davidson's showier pieces, with lots of trills and runs, and conveys a lighthearted mood with just a touch of melancholy.The title track (the theme from "Titanic") is one of my least-favorite pieces of music in existence, but that is due, at least in part, to the fact that all of my piano students wanted to play it for months, and I had to hear it in all kinds of states many times a day for what seemed like years. But, I digress.... As often as that song has been played the past few years, it is amazing to me that George Davidson was able to give it a fresh and emotionally true arrangement. Davidson's treatment of "Castle On a Cloud" from "Les Miz" is gorgeous - the bittersweet melody comes through elegantly. Yanni's "In the Mirror" was a surprise, and a very pleasant one at that. I like a lot of Yanni's music played solo on piano, and this song was a good choice! It's a shame that no composer credits are given in the liner notes, as I'm sure many listeners would shake their heads and ask themselves where they've heard that song before. Davidson's arrangement of Debussy's "Clair de Lune" is close to the original, making me wonder why he changed sections - whether it was to make it more palatable for his audiences or simply to suit himself. It's a lovely arrangement, but the piano teacher in me takes small umbrage at "messing with the classics" when the pianist's skills are up to the original, as Davidson's clearly are.

This is another excellent solo piano collection from George Davidson, and I highly recommend it to those who like classy piano interpretations of a variety of popular songs and melodies. Keep the originals, coming, too, George!

Kathy Parsons
Solo Piano Publications

 
Copyright © 2007 George Davidson. All rights reserved.