John-Paul Kaplan - Keys of Time - My Favorite Piano, Volume I - Catholic CD Review


Keys of Time–My Favorite Piano, Volume I is a beautiful collection of ten piano solos by Catholic artist, John-Paul Kaplan. One look at the song list and it is clear that this is not a “background CD” for a reconciliation service. This is a collection of mostly secular standards, including “I’ve Got Rhythm,” “Chariots of Fire,” and “Rainbow Connection,” with three original pieces by Kaplan.

I love piano music myself, though admittedly, I often use it for background. Whereas Keys of Time could be used for that purpose, it deserves a closer listen. Only through a closer listen will one hear Kaplan’s more clever arrangements. Check out the opening track, “Night and Day,” where the song itself contains “night and day” differences in style. And a little “moonlight” thrown in for good measure is a nice touch. There’s also “I’ve Got Rhythm,” which during the first part of the song had me asking, “well, does he?” By the end of the song, there is no question: Kaplan has both rhythm and pizzazz.

I could have done without “Chariots of Fire,” but at 1:52 running time, it’s mostly harmless. It’s a great Vangelis melody, but sadly, the Oscar-winning film has been parodied so many times, it’s hard not to think of those parodies when one hears the song. I also don’t think it is his strongest arrangement. To me, it sounds a little like Kaplan needed a tenth song for a complete CD, so he chose this one.

I would have preferred that Kaplan put some more of his own material on Keys of Time, because those are my favorite tracks. But, then again, the title says that this is his favorite piano, not mine. How can you argue with “his favorite”? However, the title also says that this is “Volume I.” So I hope that his “favorites” for Volume II are more of his own pieces, because they would probably also be my favorites.

The CD is available from CDbaby at

Reviewed by Fr. Kent O’Connor

Copyright 2009 Susan Bailey and Grapevine


About Author

Susan Bailey is an writer, speaker and musician. She is the author of River of Grace Creative Passages Through Difficult Times, published by Ave Maria Press, and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message, part of the Literary Portals to Prayer series published by ACTA Publications. Along with her own blogs Be As One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion), Susan frequently contributes to and the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers. She has also contributed to and Catholic Online. Susan writes articles and a monthly column known as Be as One for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press. Bailey, who works as a marketing/advertising assistant for a local real estate firm, is an associate member of the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, where previously she served as chair and secretary, helping to organize the biennial “Gather Us In” women’s conference, one of the first major Catholic women’s conferences in the country. As part of her duties she wrote the monthly column for The Catholic Free Press known as “Concerning Women” and appeared on CatholicTV’s “This is the Day” to promote the conference. A professional musician and graphic artist, Bailey released four CDs, performed on EWTN, CatholicTV and World Youth Day 2002, and worked as a cantor in her parish of St. Luke the Evangelist for fifteen years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (with concentrations in US History and Music) from Bridgewater State University. She and her husband, Rich, have two grown children and live in North Grafton, Massachusetts. Susan invites you to join her email list where you will receive updates on exciting professional developments and speaking engagements. Email subscribers also receive special giveaways and previews of new projects. Susan loves a good conversation and looks forward to corresponding with you! Join here.

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