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An overview of fine playing

Scott Cossu: A Windham Hill Retrospective
Scott Cossu: A Windham Hill Retrospective
By Scott Cossu

Windham Hill Records: 1992

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This review first appeared in the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

Pianist Scott Cossu represents the potential of what New Age music can achieve artistically. His six albums feature him in a variety of musical combos, from a folk sextet (piano, flute, bass, synthesizer, drums and percussion) to a classical duo (piano and cello) to a jazz/rock combo (piano, electric guitar, bass, flute, drums, conga, percussions).

The music, too, shows imagination and taste, with varied meters and tempo. All of this allows Cossu's recordings to stand above the often mind-numbing repetition of so much that passes for New Age.

This compilation draws from all of his albums, including his very popular "Islands" (four songs). His album featuring duos with cellist Eugene Friesen ("Reunion") is represented by two cuts here, the dreamy "She Describes Infinity" has a couple, and his most recent – "Switchback," with electric guitarist Van Manakas – has four.

If you've never believed New Age could be anything more than New Muzak, Cossu might be the one to change your mind. If you enjoy New Age, and are unfamiliar with Cossu's work, this is an excellent album to introduce you. In any case, this is chock-full of good tunes and fine playing.