Album Review by Dyan Garris
By Christian Celebration
"Peter Kater leads us to exciting new heights with his breathtakingly beautiful album, “Wings.” Luxuriant and sumptuous, every single song, every note, is like a rich, silky, soothing balm for the soul. Truly radiant and soaring, this is his finest work yet. Brilliant." — Dyan Garris
There are many types of wings, but in general, wings propel things forward and produce lift. Here in his astoundingly beautiful album, “Wings,” Peter Kater does both. And masterfully so. We’ve been fascinated with wings for eons. Ancient mythology and fantasy genres are rife with winged creatures. Angels, seraphim, gods, fairies, birds – all winged creatures imaginable - all have a mysterious, magical quality that we can find magnetically irresistible. And perhaps because humans have no wings, we have always been intrigued by flight. Oh, to fly high, soar, and glide way up in the heavens. What a feeling it must be. If we only had wings. . .
The music on the album, “Wings,” is some of the most beautiful music you’ll ever hear in this lifetime. Each song elevates the spirit in incomparable ways and makes us feel like we do indeed, possess wings of our own, and the innate ability to rise above it all.
Peter Kater is a Grammy® winning pianist, composer, performer, and author. He has released over 70 critically acclaimed recordings and has scored the music for over 100 television and film productions including 11 On and Off-Broadway dramatic plays. From solo piano and contemporary jazz ensembles to full orchestral works, his music is heard all over the world crossing many genres, from the Olympics, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall, to the treatment rooms of hundreds of thousands of massage therapists and healing practitioners.
All songs on “Wings” are composed, performed, produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Peter. Melodic and flowing, we are completely mesmerized from beginning to end.
“Wings” is 10 graceful, passionate, spacious-feeling tracks, beginning with the gorgeous “Raven’s Wings.” And we’re off! By the way, the raven is an oft misunderstood symbol. In its high and revered form, ravens are considered to be powerful, divine messengers; harbingers of wisdom, knowledge, and clarity.
Emotionally evocative, “Wings of Love” lifts us up with its engaging and memorable melody. This song is so very soothing in every direction. Peter has a velvet touch here – throughout the album, indeed – with each note perfectly spaced and played.
“Hold Me Close” is amazingly tender. This is a timeless, loving embrace that we can literally feel coursing through our mind, body, and spirit. Effortlessly and exquisitely beautiful. Love this one. “Angel’s Nest” is also hauntingly beautiful. Perfectly paced, gentle, yet passionate, and with wonderful chord progressions, this is divinely memorable. I found it to be extremely calming to the spirit.
The title track, “Wings,” is light and reminiscent of hummingbirds. As well, the essence of all manner of wings is perfectly captured here and Peter makes good use of both upper and lower registers of the piano. We can almost see and feel the hummingbird hovering over the piano just as depicted on the album cover. This is magical.
With its cinematic vibe and a definite feeling of spatial freedom, “Flight” is just delightful in every nuance. We are gliding along, truly elevated, high above this plane of existence.
“Swallow River” is graceful and flowing. Our minds and emotions are immediately transported to a place of peace and serenity. Masterful in every way; subtleties, intricacies, mix, production, everything, “Remembrance” seems to strike a chord deep within the heart and solar plexus chakras in a significant way. I found this song to have quite healing energy. “When We Meet Again” is wistful and contemplative. This is deeply stirring and peaceful.
Summing it all up magnificently is “Flight Reprise.” So gentle, so tranquil and expressive, it’s the perfect ending to a perfect work of art. There is no other thing to do except get the whole album. “Wings” by Peter Kater is “top drawer.”
Peter Kater’s name has been synonymous with passionate, eloquent piano music for more than thirty-five years. An artist who never stops growing creatively, Kater’s music on "Wings" reaches new heights as it sings, soars, glides and weeps - definitely some of his best music to date! An artist with more than sixty albums to his credit, Kater has also scored the music for more than 100 television and film productions and has received dozens of awards and honors including 13 Grammy nominations and a Grammy Award for his 2017 album, "Dancing On Water." I think this quote from the liner notes of "Wings" explains the origins of the music beautifully: “As I started to work on this album I noticed a theme in my life of ‘wings’ everywhere. In the art that I was drawn to, the birds that showed up during my time in Nature and the concept or fantasy of having wings emotionally, spiritually and even physically filled my thoughts.” While the piano is front and center in all of ten of the pieces on the album, strings and light orchestration enhance the beauty of some of the tracks. Many of Kater’s albums have been included in my Annual Favorites lists, but I honestly believe that this is my favorite of all of his albums. Overflowing with a wide range of emotions, "Wings" is “soul” music in the truest sense.
"Wings" begins with the graceful and elegant “Raven’s Flight,” a piece that captures the effortless sweep of these large birds as they fly from one corner of the sky to another. “Wings of Love” is very free yet passionate with strings and electronic instrumentation adding tonal color and atmospheric sound. “Hold Me Close” reaches even more emotional depth with a simple but very poignant melody that says much more than words ever could. Strings add a romantic element that gives the piece, well, wings! As the piece unfolds, passions rise to a peak and then relax to a soft and quiet close. “Angel’s Nest” is delicate and very open as it expresses tenderness with a beautiful grace. The title track begins gently, conveying the movement of wings. From there, it builds momentum, sometimes soaring and sometimes gliding effortlessly through the air. “Flight” is very powerful and my favorite piece on the album. A bit darker and more dramatic, it makes me think of birds caught in a storm or heavy winds, trying to find shelter and safety. Love it! “Swallow River” paints a musical picture of peace and serenity - smooth as glass and absolutely beautiful. “Remembrance” is very solemn and still, expressing heartfelt feelings of love and loss. “When We Meet Again” is another favorite with powerful emotions coming from deep within the soul - reaching out from one heart to another. “Flight Reprise” is very different from “Flight” in that it is warm, calm and very peaceful - a perfect closing to an amazing album.
I’ve reviewed some incredible albums so far this year, but "Wings" is definitely one of the best. Don’t miss it!