By Frank Alkyer | Published March 2021
As I’ve said before in this column, I’m a sucker for solo piano recordings, and Alan Pasqua’s Day Dream hits home. Pasqua, a collaborator with a broad swath of pop and jazz royalty—from Tony Williams, Bob Dylan and John Fogerty to Allan Holdsworth, Carlos Santana and Michael Bublé—recorded this highly personal collection of his favorite tunes during COVID-19 lockdown. He released it on his own Gretabelle Music last November, but the set is just now getting out to the public. It’s the kind of DIY delay that the pandemic has wrought throughout the music world.
That said, this batch of chestnuts is worth the wait. Pasqua demonstrates amazing touch and technique on the 10 tunes recorded for this document. His medley of “In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning/Smile” offers a wistful shiver to a bygone era. And, when he solos on the tune, oh, my, the chops are tasteful and transcendent. He also takes a far-away glance with a rendition of “Old Cape Cod” that pulls the heartstrings just right.
And that’s the beauty of this entire album. There’s a calming melancholy when Pasqua plays “Polka Dots And Moonbeams,” “Prelude To A Kiss” or “When I Grow Too Old To Dream,” the set’s closing track. It’s just the kind of mood that’s needed right now, a vaccine, if you will, from a long, hard pandemic. So, put down the phone, turn off the TV, sit down with your favorite beverage and relax into the beauty of Pasqua’s Day Dream.