"Raindrop: Improvisations With Chopin"
If ever there was an album that transcends genres, it's Deanna Witkowski's gorgeous new CD, "Raindrop: Improvisations With Chopin." On her fifth album, the pianist, who grew up in Webster, combines three of her passions: Chopin, jazz, and the music of Brazil. She does it so seamlessly that it sounds perfectly natural when Chopin's "Nocturne in E Minor, Opus 72, No. 1" is fused with Luiz Bonfá and Antônio Maria's "Manhã de Carnaval."
Sometimes Witkowski adds another layer to the work of others. When Antonio Carlos Jobim wrote "Insensatez" ("How Insensitive"), he built his melodies on top of Chopin's "Prelude In E Minor, Opus 28, No. 4." Witkowski merges the two with her own improvisatory flair front and center as the track builds. The Brazilian flavor even comes through when Witkowski combines Chopin's "Prelude In E-flat Minor, Op. 10, No. 6" with the American standard, "You And The Night And The Music."
Sprinkled throughout the CD are short pieces by Witkowski herself. These tunes, improvised in reaction to the longer works, serve as interludes, beautifully weaving the album's tracks together in a style that evokes all three genres.