Gentle Love Vol. 2

Gentle Love Vol. 2 Album Title:
Gentle Love Vol. 2
Record Label:
GEM Impact
Catalog No.:
XQEF-1011
Release Date:
June 25, 2010
Purchase:
Buy at Hibino Sound Therapy Lab

Overview

Gentle Love Vol. 2 is Norihiko Hibino’s second solo album released as part of his Hibino Sound Therapy Lab. Unlike the first volume, which featured jazz covers of famous pop and love ballads from around the world, this is an album full of original works. How does it compare to the first album?

Body

The album opens up with “Wonderful Future” that features a beautiful piano accompaniment, almost dreamy in nature. Wonderful saxophone melody and the exquisite interplay between piano and saxophone really help carry the listener off into a realm of relaxation. In addition, I enjoy the small improvisations on the saxophone and piano melody lines as they really give the theme a bit more playfulness. “Prescription for Love,” on the other hand, is a track with a lot more dramatic emotion to it. The lead saxophone has a very romantic sound about it, while the piano mainly serves as a support. There is a section dedicated to the piano and it features some lovely jazz improvisation and really helps add to the atmosphere, however, in the scheme of things, it’s primarily a support instrument.

To me, “New Life” creates an atmosphere of hope. The saxophone has a very bright tone and I think the piano accompaniment is quite fitting in atmosphere as well. Some of my favorite portions of the theme really occur when the saxophone is improvised a bit and the piano accompaniment seems to increase in “spirit.” There are also some very upbeat piano only improvised sections as well that are quite nice. The title track, “Gentle Love”, is similar to “Prescription in Love” due to the focus on a romantic sound. I find this one to be quite lovely, especially the melody. It’s quite strong I think and the more powerful saxophone notes really help add a beautiful and endearing touch to the theme.

“Small Hand” opens up with a very soft, solemn piano section that manages, in my opinion, to give off a sound that is reminiscent of an innocence of a child. From there, it moves into a beautiful saxophone and piano tune with a lot of emotion, while still retaining that innocence heard in the opening. It’s one of my favorite songs and I find the saxophone solo to be particularly inviting. “A Love of Warmth”, not surprisingly, manages to convey a musical “warmth” through its beautiful use of acoustic guitar and saxophone passages. The piano is a fitting accompaniment to the beauty instilled by the aforementioned instruments and manages to provide a very sensual atmosphere.

“Death for Me,” the last song on the album, definitely comes from the opening notes of “Beanstalk” from Ninja Blade and it really casts a somber atmosphere over the entire opening mood. As the track progresses, there is definitely a feeling of depression heard in the saxophone, as the notes manage to convey a true sadness as they emanate from the instrument. In the end, it’s a very relaxing theme with some beautiful passages, and even if it ends on a slightly somber note, it still manages to provide a nice sense of closure.

Summary

In the end, I prefer this album to the first Gentle Love album, if only because all the pieces on this album are original rather than covers. While I didn’t mention all the themes, there are a variety of moods featured on this album that are definitely fitting for the album’s title. Personally, I prefer the calmer, peaceful moods, although those themes portraying more dreamy and hopeful atmospheres are also quite nice. In the end, if you are a fan of slow jazz music with a lot of emotion, I definitely recommend picking this one up.

Gentle Love Vol. 2 Don Kotowski

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.


About the Author

Currently residing in New York, I spend my days working in antibody therapeutics and dedicate some of my spare time in the evening to the vast world of video game music, both reviewing soundtracks as well as maintaining relationships with composers overseas in Europe and in Japan.



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