I am an artist from Northern California. I create environments for people to enjoy. Surrounded by the beauty of our Ancient Redwood Forests, steeped in the stillness and awe-inspiring power of nature, my art speaks of a sense of peace and well-being amid the struggles of being human. For the last 20 years pianist Matthew Cook has been a treasure known only to those who venture beyond the Redwood Curtain in Northern California. During that time he has logged over 200 live performances each year, delighting visitors and locals alike in the area's finest hotels, resorts and concert halls, and created six wonderful collections of solo piano music on CD. Redwood Reflections is a collection of original compositions by Matthew Cook. With singing melodies and vast moods Cook creates an inspirational homage to the giant Redwood Trees of Northern California. Drawing from such diverse influences as George Winston, Scott Joplin, Stephen Stills and Keith Jarrett, Cook weaves together a mozaic of rhythms and textures. From it's misty beginnings to it's Latin flavored end this album flows wonderfully. The Redwood Reflections Suite takes us on a journey through magnificent groves of these ancient trees from the stillness of the Morning Fog to the magnificence of a warm, sunny Sanctuary, an exuberant flight Over The Canopy and a triumphant, refreshing return in Mountainside. 'If I Could Fill Your Cup' is a beautiful love ballad with a singing melody. One time I found myself without a Valentines Day present for my wife. I sat down at the piano and this song came flowing out, lyrics and all. ' It makes a great solo piano piece.' Benson's Soliloquy is straight out of the pages of Scott Joplin. 'I wrote this piece for my father who was a big fan of the way I play Joplin.' The End Of The Century is a melodic lament: 'By the end of the 90's it didn't look like we had come very far since the 60's. I just wonder where all that idealism went.' The album ends with the toe-tapping Cuervo, a song cowritten by Matthew Cook and his son Kai. Redwood Reflections is a journey well worth taking for lovers of piano music! My life is my art and my art is my life. It has always been thus for me and I have had interesting and rich experiences for it. I have been fortunate to be able to share pieces of that through my music. Over the years I have developed my own piano style, 'Folk-Jazz', combining the simplicity, accessibility and personableness of folk music with some of the heady elements of modern jazz. All of my CDs are high-quality recordings of Yamaha Grand Pianos. 'Summertime' 'The Rose' and 'By Request' were recorded live on a Yamaha C-3. 'Redwood Reflections', 'Stormy Weather', and 'Moondance' were recorded in the studio on a Yamaha C-7.
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