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Piano & Ensemble album

Conversations

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Matt's third recording is meticulously crafted—weaving the unique sounds of each instrument to add texture and nuance. A symphonic poem gives way to meditative musings, soaring melody lines take turn with pulsing Latin rhythms.

Listen ~ Download Audio Files

 
 

Download ~ Print Sheet Music

All of the music from this recording has been transcribed for solo piano and is available below.

Click a title to download the sheet music:

~ My Favorite Time of the Year

~ Freckle on My Hand

~ Sassy

~ Never on Time

~ Me Beija (Kiss Me)

~ Into My Life You Came

~ You Can't Go Back

~ Conversations

~ She Fell Asleep in My Arms

~ Carioca Lullaby

~ Remembering Kristopher

~ Sometimes, Words Are Not Enough

Download all the pieces
  in one Collection:

~ Conversations Collection

Conversations - SCORE icon
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Matt offers his original music with no expectation of payment. The above audio files and musical scores are absolutely FREE for your personal use and enjoyment.
However, donations are always appreciated.

Recording Information and Credits

Matt Johnson, 1991

 

International Standard Name Identifier

ISNI 0000 0004 6875 3420

Title: Conversations
Artist: Matt Johnson
Release Date: March, 1992
Producer: Matt Johnson and Joe O’Connell
Engineer: Joe O’Connell
Record Label: Critique Records, and

   Dolce & Nuit Productions


Recording Studios:
~Blue Jay Recording Studio—Carlisle, MA

~Soundtrack Recording Studio—Boston, MA
Mixing Studio:
~Soundtrack Recording Studio—Boston, MA
Mixed by: Matt Johnson and Joe O’Connell
Mastered by: Joe O’Connell

CD Number: DNP2991-2
Cassette Number: DNP2991-4

UPC:

~016241540526 (Critique Records)

~045011299128 (DNP)

Total Disc Time: 53 minutes, 51 seconds

Musicians:

~Anders Bostrom: alto and C flute
~Sa Davis: percussion
~Valerie Edwards: english horn
~Jeffrey Fischer: timpani
~Bruce Hall: flügelhorn (Conversations)
~Matt Johnson: piano
~Charles Lewis: flügelhorn (Sassy)
~Robin Macatangay: acoustic and electric guitar
~Kevin Noble: french horn
~Michele Pinet: harp
~Alexander Romanul: violin
~Pengbian Sang: electric and fretless bass
~Ric Wright: drums
~Bob Zung: soprano and baritone sax

 
 

Graphics created for this recording

REVIEWS

Album Review: Conversations

Matt Johnson
1992 / Dolce & Nuit Productions
54 minutes

Review by Kathy Parsons/www.MainlyPiano.com


Conversations is the third album by Matt Johnson. Released in 1992, the album consists of twelve original compositions for piano and ensemble (including two piano solos). With a strong background in classical music and jazz as well as sacred music, Johnson brings a wealth of experience and diversity to his music. He calls his music “Neo-Romantic, employing a unique blend of contemporary jazz, new age, popular and classical elements” and I would agree. Johnson has performed extensively in venues from Boston to Brazil and there is a very strong Latin influence in some of his music. The ensemble is made up of thirteen musicians (not counting Johnson) playing a wide range of instruments. The music is very eclectic, from bright and upbeat to pensive and more subdued, giving a great sampling of Johnson’s compositional range - even 27 years ago!

Conversations begins with “
My Favorite Time of the Year,” a joyful and effervescent ensemble piece for most, if not all, of the musicians. Strings, flute, drums, bass and percussion lead the way with the piano somewhat in the background until near the end of the piece - a great opener! The playful “Freckle On My Hand” has a strong Latin jazz rhythm that will have your toes tapping in no time. Sax and piano send this lively piece soaring with a big grin! “Sassy” is a favorite with its driving, danceable beat propelling sax and flugelhorn as well as piano, bass, guitar and percussion - pure fun! “Never On Time” goes in a somewhat different direction with a piece for flute, piano and percussion that is still jazz but a bit smoother than the first three tracks. “Me Beija (Kiss Me)” is a wonderful Latin-infused slow dance for guitar, flute, piano and lots of percussion - another favorite! The gorgeous, soulful “You Can’t Go Back” is a piano solo written for Johnson’s parents. The title track "Conversations" is darker and a bit more mysterious with a full, rich sound that would work in a movie soundtrack. At almost 8 1/2 minutes, various moods are expressed - some with just piano, some with the full ensemble and some with a combination. I love the drama of this piece! “She Fell Asleep in My Arms” is a sweet and very tender duet for piano and English horn (with bass). Strings are added here and there. I really like this one, too! The word “carioca” refers to a native or resident of Rio de Janeiro, and the piece called “Carioca Lullaby” is slow and soothing with a hypnotic sax played by Bob Zung. The piano plays a repeated pattern as bass guitar supplies a quiet rhythm. And yet another favorite! The album comes to a gentle, reflective close with the second piano solo, “Sometimes, Words Are Not Enough.” Very free and expressive, it seems to be a “conversation” between Johnson and himself perhaps late at night by the light of a candle or two. It’s a beautiful ending to an exceptional album.

Matt Johnson offers his recordings and sheet music for no charge on his website, www.MattJohnsonMusic.com. His recordings can also be found on Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.


 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

​Songbook Review: Conversations Collection
Matt Johnson
1992 / Dolce & Nuit Productions
102 pages / 12 songs

Review by Kathy Parsons/www.MainlyPiano.com


The Conversations Collection songbook is the companion sheet music book to Matt Johnson’s 1992 recording, Conversations. All twelve pieces from the album were transcribed by the composer (Johnson). Ten of the twelve tracks on the recording are ensemble pieces, so the solo transcriptions won’t match the recordings, but with careful attention to the rhythms and the spirit of the music, pianists at a fairly advanced playing level should be very satisfied with the sheet music. The two piano solos on the album are “You Can’t Go Back” and “Sometimes, Words Are Not Enough,” and those should match the recordings. The music in this collection is very eclectic, ranging from bright and lively jazz to quieter and more reflective. Some of the rhythms are fairly complicated - especially in the faster pieces - but with some practice, they are a lot of fun to play.

The layout of the music is well-spaced and easy to read. There are lots of ledger lines in many of the bass patterns, but you can always pencil in what the notes are if you have trouble reading them. Pedaling is also clearly marked and there are fingering suggestions in some sections. This is definitely not “easy piano,” but more advanced pianists will find plenty to enjoy. The easiest pieces are “She Fell Asleep In My Arms” and “Sometimes, Words Are Not Enough,” so you might want to start with those! The really good part is that Matt Johnson offers his music for free on his website (donations happily accepted!), so you can try it out! You can also download the recordings for free, so check out www.MattJohnsonMusic.com! His sheet music is also available from SheetMusicPlus.com.

The titles, the keys the pieces are in and the number of pages are:

~
My Favorite Time of Year - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 9 1/2 pages
~
Freckle On My Hand - Key of G (1 sharp) - 11 pages
~
Sassy - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 10 pages
~
Never On Time - Key of F (1 flat)/ G (1 sharp) - 7 pages
~
Me Beija (Kiss Me) - Key of F minor (4 flats)/ F major (1 flat) - 8 pages
~
Into My Life You Came - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 9 pages
~
You Can’t Go Back - Key of Db (5 flats) - 8 pages
~
Conversations - Key of Ab minor (7 flats)/ Ab (4 flats) - 14 pages
~
She Fell Asleep in My Arms - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 6 pages
~
Carioca Lullaby - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 8 pages
~
Remembering Kristopher - Key of Bb (2 flats)/ B major (5 sharps) - 4 pages
~
Sometimes, Words Are Not Enough - Key of G minor (2 flats)/ E major (4 sharps) - 5 pages