On Waking the Muse, pianist Michele McLaughin displays complete mastery of her passionate and powerful piano playing. Never one to shy away from letting her emotions channel through her playing, McLaughin states she was having difficulty composing new music. However, the 13 tracks on this album clearly indicate she has tapped into a wellspring of inspiration (or her muse has awoken, if you prefer). Michele loves to play around with time signatures and styles/moods within pieces, speeding up tempo and then slowing down in an instant. With some artists, this change-of-pace midstream might prove a distraction, but in her more-than-capable hands, the results are piano pyrotechnics of a stellar degree.
December 1, 2013