Variations on a Happy Ending

Barbara Higbie - Variation on A Happy Ending - Cover Image

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All Music by Barbara Higbie
except tracks 3 & 6 by Egberto Gismonti
and track 9 by Joni Mitchell

Recorded April 2000 at
KPFA Studios,
Berkeley, CA
Engineer: Gary Mankin
Asst. Engineer: Tony Ferro

Mastered by Ken Lee, Oakland, CA

Production Assistance:
Teresa Trull, Nina Gerber

Cover Art & Design: Sofie Siegmann

Barbara Higbie's VARIATIONS ON A HAPPY ENDING is an uplifting release featuring many touching piano compositions. Higbie's performances are emotive, yet never sappy or maudlin. Moreover, all 11 pieces complement one another. The album flows gently from track to track with great euphony, balance, and musical sensitivity.

Higbie's originals, while clearly New Age, use jazzy syncopations and classical phraseology. The title track is a dynamic work that shows off the pianist's considerable technique. Here, she uses a mixture of rolling arpeggios and sharp chordal punctuations. The ballad "Asleep In My Arms" is more delicate. Higbie again fleshes out the music with sweeping gestures and harp-like arpeggios. "Movie" uses a swinging, almost boogie-woogie, feel. On this selection, the pianist also throws in some well-chosen blue notes. The album closes with "Kora Dreams" a sunny piece that employs a spunky shuffle pattern in the left hand with a sprightly melody in the right. In general, VARIATIONS ON A HAPPY ENDING does much more than soothe; these are well-crafted pieces worthy of active listening.