Thad Fiscella – Free to Fly
Reviewed by: Cathy Oakes
Enlightened Piano Radio
It has been said that true art allows the observer to connect on a spiritual level. If that is true, then “Free to Fly” by Thad Fiscella is, indeed true art! I love it when a listener can hear an artist’s music and, immediately “get” what he or she is trying to convey. I wish I had the words to describe the beauty of his music. Alas, I simply have no words. However, I will attempt to convey to those who are reading this as much as this human mind can portray.
“Free to Fly,” Thad’s latest CD is dedicated to his father, Jim, who passed away unexpectedly in 2014. Quoting the dedication, “He was a man full of wise counsel, a visionary, inventor and one who defined what it meant to work hard and give 100%.” In that case, this CD is a beautiful tribute to his father, mentor and friend. In this beautiful music, Thad gives 100% of his heart and soul. Every note, every nuance, every piece is filled with hope, faith, love and beauty.
The work begins with “When You Said I Do.” It is lively, yet tender and overflowing with joy. “Unbroken” is a perfect follow-up. It is slower and contemplative with a melody that catches in your soul and touches you. “Everlasting Joy” is almost ethereal at the beginning. It has a simple melody that floats above a walking bass. His development of the theme in this piece is wonderful!
“Hope Remains” is my favorite piece on the album (and that’s saying a lot!). When I first heard this beautiful dance-like piece, I wept. The melody is absolutely gorgeous and literally caused music to rise up in my soul! The title track, “Free to Fly” has a lilting melody that soars. It is free and flowing and gives the listener a true feeling of freedom and contentment. “Lighthouse has a light, catchy melody with syncopated rhythms and a soothing, rocking motion.
“Joyous Turmoil” is the longest of the tracks. It develops and states the theme over and over again in new and interesting ways. It brings to my mind the thought of a journey with twists, turns and obstacles leading to a beautiful place of rest. “Sweet Surrender” is a truly sweet piece with a melody that is almost childish in its beautiful simplicity at the beginning. Once again, Fiscella’s development of this theme is outstanding! “When Someday Comes” is dreamy and reflective. “Emma Lee” has a sweet, music-box feel and melody.
The beautiful “Innocenza” is an almost haunting waltz. So simple, yet so emotional and expressive. “Saving Sophie” is so tender and loving – even prayerful. “Mother’s Devotion” is so rich with changing rhythms, but always returns to a statement of the simple, “other worldly” theme. “Always and Forever” is a love song in its most beautiful form. The melody literally pulls at the heart-strings and leaves one with a warm feeling.
“When We Meet Again” expresses such hope and faith that parting is but a brief sorrow. It is hymn-like with a simple, yet gorgeous, almost folksy melody. “Hope Lights the Way” is almost ambient with the ethereal melody in a minor key. It keeps returning to that theme, expressing hope for a brighter tomorrow and ends perfectly with a picardy third, hinting that hope truly does light the way. And just when you think things can’t get any better, Fiscella ends his CD with an orchestrated reprise of “Hope Remains.” I thought I couldn’t hear anything more beautiful than the solo piano version of this piece. But there it is – right at the end with gorgeous strings to emphasize the beauty of this piece.
In the liner notes, Thad says, “I pray this CD will help bring comfort to you during difficult times in your own life and that you will truly sense a spirit of peace and freedom through this music.” His prayer has definitely been answered for this listener! The peace, hope, joy and love expressed so beautifully in this album surely will bring comfort to any listener in any circumstance.
I am, unfortunately limited to 5 stars in my rating system. I would like to give this CD at least 10. But I will play by the rules and give it 5++ stars. I highly recommend this CD. Amazing job, Thad!! Please keep the beautiful music flowing!