The American musician and composer Larry Jasinski released his debut album Imaginary Dawn in 2010. The music was written between 1987 and 2009. Jasinski taught music in the area of New Braunfels, Texas (USA) for more than fifteen years. He's musically influenced by keyboard player Keith Emerson (ELP) and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore (ex-Deep Purple, ex-Rainbow), but also by composers of the twentieth century like Aaron Copland and Arnold Schoenberg. You may call Jasinski a multi-instrumentalist as well, since the instruments he plays include keyboards, guitars and occasional drum programming.
On Imaginary Dawn, Jasinski presents mostly mellow music defining it as progressive contemporary music. Some of the songs are instrumentals, but occasionally he sings or he lent the voice of Jimmy McNeal and his sister Lei Jasinski, who also played the bass guitar on this record. She seems to be an important person in his life because they also work together on a musical project called LJ and she introduced me to her brother's music. She probably helped him fighting a battle in his personal life during episodes of depression of his manic-depressive disorder and alcoholism. This struggle for life must have made Imaginary Dawn a very personal album for both of them. After years of darkness this CD came out of love and perseverance.
The album contains sixteen songs lasting more than an hour. While listening to the album it's evident that Jasinski was inspired by Keith Emerson. Throughout the album the organ and piano parts are reminiscent of this keyboard wizard. A good example is the instrumental piece Umqa Rehem. On this track, dedicated to the keyboard maestro, you can enjoy beautiful Emerson-like piano parts. Other examples are the organ sounds in Get On The Highway and Solitaire. The influences of the aforementioned classical composers can also be heard on several tracks like in Access Ramp. Jasinski sings a bit like Andy Latimer and Pete Bardens (both Camel) as we can hear on Paper Tigers and Get On The Highway. He has no prominent voice, but it will do for these songs. His vocals on Imaginary Dawn didn't disturb me at all. However, his sister has a far better voice as you can notice on tracks like Access Ramp, Quackers and the title track, but Jimmy McNeal - the American Idols-finalist of 2007 - is the best singer. His soulful voice makes Solitaire and Messengers sound more professional.
It's just a pity that I didn't hear any influences of Ritchie Blackmore on this debut album. However I heard some hints of Steve Hackett on Ghosts Of Love that sound very pleasant and therefore I wondered why Jasinski doesn't use this style of playing more often. Throughout the album it's obvious that he' s a very talented musician and composer, but I wished he had recorded more up-tempo pieces. Now the entire album sounds a bit alike. I would have given the album a higher rating if there had been more variety. However, in general this is a good album. I'm curious at the second release of Larry Jasinski and not omitting his sister.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013