Cappadocia: A Landmark Release for 2019

A Review By Kevin Belmonte

In recent years, keyboardist Jeff Johnson and guitarist Phil Keaggy have released two seamlessly crafted, and highly acclaimed instrumental albums: Frio Suite and WaterSky. Now, the duo has released an epic, resplendent album that sounds very much as though it may be the capstone of a landmark trilogy: Cappadocia.

Here, listening becomes something rare and special. For this recording is at once a gift and a summons to performances from two generous and greatly gifted musicians. Sonically, the experience on Cappadocia is so lush and expansive that it seems the musical equivalent of motion picture.

Johnson, a master of moving, expansive textures on keyboard, has found in Keaggy a true friend in artistry: for where one begins a melody or motif, the other carries it forward and compliments it in ways that are a voyage of discovery.

And there so many vistas on the horizon. Tracks on this album range from pieces that are contemplative and pastoral (“Hidden In Clouds,” “Quo Vadis”) to free-flowing movements of jazz and rock (“Chapel of Stone,” “Trinity” “Dove Visions”). Like a river, they find their way to a sea—to become one with the larger waters of stirring music.

Still other tracks draw the listener, seemingly, to halls that are ethereal and reverent (“Over Cappadocia” and the gorgeously rendered “Parousia”).

At the close of listening to this album comes a fervent wish to begin again. For there are yet more things to discover in the artistry Johnson and Keaggy have created. That is the way of music that evokes so many unspoken yearnings, and deep places of the soul.

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