Album Review: Choctaw (single)
2019 / Dolce & Nuit Productions
Review by Kathy Parsons
“Choctaw” is a haunting new single from pianist/composer Matt Johnson. An ensemble piece for piano, Native American flute, drums, hand percussion, and light orchestration, Johnson describes his inspiration: “Listening to my grandfather’s tales of chieftain ancestry led to this lyrical boyhood imagining of my Choctaw roots.” Darkly colorful, passionate and dramatic, it’s a beautiful piece that evokes images of open plains at night illuminated by a blazing campfire (and perhaps the moon) while a group of Native Americans make music together. Native flutes often sound tragic and mournful, as does this one, but the poignant, soulful quality of the music really touches the heart and makes it easy to imagine this music in a film soundtrack or behind the closing credits of an emotional film.
Matt Johnson always offers his recordings and sheet music as free downloads on his website, but “Choctaw” is also available to buy on Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Solo piano sheet music for “Choctaw” is also available from Matt’s site (for free!!!). This piece is quite different from Johnson’s other music, and is an interesting look at another side of his composing persona. Check it out!