Innermost Music 2023


Transforming flowery designs into sonic flourishes, American musician embraces reveries as part of reality.

Provided this lady is a floral artist and wildflower preservationist who gives lectures for garden clubs, her listener would be excused for thinking the pieces Leah Waybright composes and performs conform to insipid new-age. Yet while nobody can deny the soothing component of her instrumental numbers, there’s understated vigor in both melodies and arrangements which “Dreamed” will decisively pluck out of hypnagogic drift. Having taken her time after debuting with “Beauty Gone Wild” back in 1999, she returns to the aural fray on the wave of piano-driven tunes that refuse to get boxed into chamber-like quietude and prefer instead to shake the audience’s emotions via cleverly placed splashes of rainbow-colored wonder.

The music flow is gripping from the start, once the initial pseudo-orchestral whoosh and ivories ripple of “Candlewink” are shot through with a gentle woodwind swirl to bring about the whiff of Renaissance folk and drive this fire dance forward with percussive gusts which seem to contrast “Enchanter’s Nightshade” until sax blares break its vibe-caressed elegy so that any shadow of sleepiness should get swept away. No surprise, then, in the sharp riffs of “Dreamprints” where HAPPY THE MAN veterans Rick Kennell and Stanley Whitaker weave their strings into the bluesy sway to preface Leah’s brief scherzo and add progressive air to her aromatic blend of styles. And if “Earth Rattle” feels too Arcadian, the gradually speeding flute, drums and keys keep the idyll in a fragile state and stop short of shattering the reverie before “Moonsparks” pour rock into the brittle melting pot of celestial rains, and “Venus’ Looking-Glass” reverts to ethereal, albeit electric, beauty.

So whereas the violin lines and piano passages may make “Sunwise” symphonically dry, “Lovie-In-A-Mist” sculpts a fresh dream out of dewdrops to stream a sense of freedom such fantasies are comprised of. Living up to her name, Ms. Waybright delivered a truly luminescent opus for the listener to see past her obscurity and love her art.


August 3, 2023

Category(s): Reviews
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