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Dixon R. Doll, Jr.: Press

SMOTHER.NET

Dixon Doll Jr. — Ten Years
Outstanding. That’s the first word that escapes my lips as I listen to “Ten Years”. Dixon R. Doll Jr. plays the piano better than anyone I’ve ever heard before. Yes, even better than an Elton John. His melodies are tight and his playing is just, well, awe-inspiring. As far as instrumentals go, many can drag on and seem to plod about not really doing much. That couldn’t be farther from the truth on “Ten Years”. His dynamic abilities as a songsmith and performer are unmatched. It would be a shame if he goes about not being as heralded, as he most definitely deserves.

- J-Sin
J Sin - Smother.Net (Jan 5, 2005)
TEN YEARS REVIEWED AT MIDWESTBANDS.COM

Musicianship 10 out of 10
Dixon R Doll Jr. is a master of the keyboard specifically the piano. Both simple and complex melodies flow easily from his fingertips with ease and grace.

Songwriting - 10 out of 10

Dixons composing abilities are excellent. With instrumental pieces, a lot of times the music is open to interpretation. Fortunately, Dixon included his inspirations for his songs in the sleeve of Ten Years, so, I could interpret his music as I saw fit, but also know for which each song was intended. I have to say that his musical pieces of art captured his thoughts as well as my own. Perfect.

Sound Quality/Professionalism - 10 out of 10

The sound quality on this disc is exceptional. Just crisp, clear piano.

Packaging - 10 out of 10

Although the packaging is quite simple, I truly enjoyed the sentiments behind the music for each song listed. Very touching dedication as well.

Favorite Tracks
*Stand Out Track: Balloons
Sand Castles
Valiant

Overall Rating - 10 out of 10

While it seems my review is rather short sometimes you just cant express well enough the thoughts you have of music without just sounding all sticky sweet. Dixon is an excellent musician and songwriter that has the ability to capture special moments, thoughts and emotions in his life in song. It is a talent that I am in awe of (considering words are more my area and I cant seem to ever really find the most adequate words to express anything!). Expression through music is magical to me and then to be able express yourself so well is just miraculous! (See Sticky sweet!)

Ten Years captures moments as well as special people in Dixons life in a very simple yet elegant way. The title suggests a decade in a life it is not only just moments of his life, but a musical evolution of a decade. Wonderful concept. Would I change anything about this disc? No. Even though it is stripped down simple piano it is beautiful all by itself. Like a single rose.

If you enjoy instrumental piano with great, soft emotion, consider adding Ten Years to your collection and while you are at it, pick up Dixon Dolls Independence Way as well and then sit back and enjoy! See if you wont consider it perfect as well! Jen Lush, Midwestbands.com, 1/25/05
like hearing Debussy,Ravel, and Winston at once!
Reviewer: roland bowman
like hearing Debussy,Ravel, and Winston at once! This New Age is also very Impressionistic, and it sure made a great Impression on me! TY Dixon
A CUP OF MUSIC INTERVIEW

ACM: Which three tracks are your favorites from "Ten Years" and why? Starts from the one you like most.

DD: I really enjoy Ten Years, Balloons and Sand Castles. They really grow on you as you listen to them and doing instrumental music it really is hard to tell which ones in an album will jump out. I believe that if one person likes one song on my album and would want to play it again and that the song moved them in some way than I have done my job as a composer.

ACM: How do you work on "Ten Years”?

DD: I had done 2 previous solo piano projects and thought I was finished as a song writer. The songs came together over many years. I sit down at the piano and play and write and some times themes emerge and than I spend time developing the themes. They can take many years to finish. The material really came together in the last 12 months when it became clear that I had enough to do a 3rd album.

ACM: What is special of "Ten Years"?

DD: Ten Years is a dedication album to a close friend who passed away from cancer. I knew him for a decade and wanted to honor his memory, he was a great musician and a great man who inspired me and he left behind a small child. I have children of my own and believe that nothing breaks your heart more than for a child to lose a parent. My music was really aimed at the small child who I hope will as he grows older know that his Dad was a great man who made a difference in people's lives.

ACM: Tell us about yourself or what you want us to know about you

DD: I was inspired to play piano solo music from the George Winston Album's and am still a huge fan of his. He developed his own style of piano and it gave me encouragement to follow my own path. My music is really an attempt to capture moments in life that are common as we grow older, a soundtrack to our daily events. I was fortunate to work with Howard Johnston who is George's producer on my 3 albums and also with Will Ehbrecht who is a director in Hollywood and a close friend. Howard has always said that doing piano solo work is very difficult as your alone and do not interact with other musicians. My producers are very cognizant of creating an environment that when composing we are a team and we interact and they give me great feedback on what is working and what is not. The goal is to create a spirit of freedom and spontaneity so the songs sound new, and are not overproduced. I believe we have held true to that on this album.

ACM: How you define yourself different than other pianists?

DD: I am first a songwriter who happens to play piano. I blend various themes from pop, jazz and classical and do not do any one of those things at all times. I really enjoy Bruce Hornsby, George Winston and other pioneers who play world class piano music. I do not have the skill of Bruce or the degree of difficulty that George has mastered. I attempt to do more with less, meaning if I am in doubt about a note I attempt to take it out. The great thing about piano is its ability to capture pauses and silence in addition to complex chords.

ACM: Who are your admired musicians?

DD: Don Henley as a song writer, Bono, Elton John, Bruce Hornsby, George Winston, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, and Keith Richards would be my summary. I am also a huge fan of Springsteen and like the piano player David Lanz.

ACM: On your private time, what kind of music do you listen to?

DD: I really like Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, some piano by Ahmad Jamal, than I like pop rock by U2, the Eagles, Tears for Fears, and of course I still enjoy the Autumn and December albums by George Winston. His tribute to Vince Ghiraldi and the peanuts themes are a constant in my house as I have 3 small children who love to dance to his music and some times ask me to play the peanuts theme for them.

ACM: If not piano, what other instruments you would like to play?

DD: I have always wanted to be able to play Guitar, I can not play a note.

ACM: What do you want to be ten years from now?

DD: I want to first and foremost be healthy and alive. My experiences have taught me that life is very precious and to treat every day in a very special way. I really try and live in the moment and find satisfaction in the small things. There is always goodness in the world if we know where to look and how to tap it.

ACM: Are you currently working on the new album? What is your plan or do you have anything in mind for the next album?

DD: I am currently working on a symphony I have taken a song from my 2nd album and have scored it and am exploring doing more of this. I also am working hard at getting the music produced by an orchestra. My dream would be to take some of the themes from my 3 albums and have other musicians expand them and or play them. I view myself a song writer or a story teller with notes instead of words and hope that one or more of my themes gets extended to other music.
KWEEVAK REVIEW

Dixon started taking piano lessons at a young age. Later he would return to the instrument inspired by a George Winston concert. Doll's solo piano music has been used in television programs and has received lots of well-deserved radio play. Dixon crafts compositions that range from simple to complex capturing special moments and singular people in his life. Doll's arrangements diverge from playful to dramatic. He seamlessly blends a variety of styles from contemporary to jazz in his music. Ten Years is Dixon's third release and includes liner notes explaining the inspirations and stories behind each composition. 'Sleigh Ride' is the opening track that captures the magic of a sleigh ride with friends in Colorado. The piano conveys the joy of the moment. 'Ten Years' is a more serious song as it is a tribute to a dear friend who passed away. The mood is subdued yet stirring. It is followed by the feisty 'Cool' with its catchy key changes. The CD closes on 'Musical Nights' – a light-hearted tune that flows on smooth yet stunning piano chords. Dixon creates much excitement and expression in his music and Ten Years captures that sprit from the first note to the very last!
• Recommended Tracks: (1,4,5,13) [USA/CA 2004 - web] (Review by Laura Turner Lynch for Kweevak.com)
MUSIC SHOPPER REVIEW TEN YEARS

Our Rating: 90 out of 100

When I listened to this CD, I was uptight, under a deadline, and completely stressed out. By the third track, I was calmer than if I had taken a long, hot bath. This CD isn't one to put you to sleep though, don't get me wrong. Dixon's music is far from boring. To those who truly enjoy music of all types, this is one CD that you will fall in love with.

Dixon's fingers must have been made to fly along any piano they caress. Not a one of his songs are generic in any way. Everyone is derived from an event in his life, from sleigh rides with close friends to losing a friend. This is truly music from the heart and soul.

Each track holds something different, either slow or fast, happy or sad, whatever he is trying to convey is done wonderfully. His skills are wonderful, and not once does this CD lag or fall short in any way. In fact, I've already turned some of my friends on to this CD and loaned it out for them to hear.

Tracks on this album include:

1. Sleigh Ride
2. Landslide
3. Stonebreakers
4. Ten Years
5. Cool
6. Balloons
7. Other Side
8. Fog
9. Sand Castles
10. Grove
11. Harbor
12. Valiant
13. Musical Nights



This CD can be sampled at CD Baby
HEARTSONG REVIEW OF IN THE DARK

IN THE DARK These original piano solos, all written and performed in an understated, elegant style by Dixon, are a peferct choice for times of inward seeking or unwinding. Sharing the same producer as George Winston, the style is decidely similar, quiet and sparse. Sunday Morning has a sweetness and innoncence to the lazy ambling melody. The existential piano player explores the deeper, more pensive spaces, with resonant soft chords, and a repetitive theme, sometimes swelling into a more swirling fast mode. In the Dark begins with a few ultra slow notes, like cautious footsteps, and develops into a relaxed flowing stream of notes, with occasional hesitations that continue the image of an animal moving in the night. Graduating rings with optimism, and also with quiet contemplative moments, like someone leaving an old life and stepping into a new phase, unsure but excited. Weddings is subdued and lovely, with melody building and ebbing.
Editor - Heartsong Review IN THE DARK (Feb 17, 1998)
NAPRA TRADE JOURNAL REVIEW IN THE DARK

The magical photo of San Francisco cityscape at night captures the warmth and glow of Doll's piano playing. His improvisations are smooth and carefully tended, the sweet notes plucked as a peach just ripe for the picking. Doll's melodic path of romance is not rash and willful; in his key changes he seems to be savoring the opportunities to take the hearts true direction.
Editor - NAPRA TRADE JOURNAL, IN THE DARK (Feb 14, 1999)