MainlyPiano by KathyPiano7 "A Southern Sun" is the fifth solo album from pianist/composer Joseph Akins and the first of all new originals in more than four years. Akins wanted this collection of fourteen piano solos to reflect his southern roots more than his previous albums, and while "A Southern Sun" does just that, he by no means abandoned his jazz or new age stylings. Akins is an incredible pianist - one of the best, in my book - with a sunny and positive outlook on life, and those factors are even more apparent on this album than in his previous work. He is also a professor of recording industry at Middle Tennessee State University and holds advanced degrees in jazz piano and electronic music and a doctorate in education. I love this album from the first note to the last and expect it to be on my list of Favorites for 2013.
The title of Joseph Akin’s latest recording, A Southern Sun, provides some insight into the inspiration for the music. As he describes: “I wanted this album to reflect my southern roots more than my previous albums. I kept this in mind while creating it.” Yet there is a distinct musical identity that is present in whatever piece he is playing. I admire an artist who can explore diverse musical terrain, yet maintain a continuity that allows the various elements to sound like they all belong to a body of work. Joseph Akins is a supremely gifted pianist and composer with a flair for writing memorable melodies and performing them with great style and emotion. Fans of innovative piano music will certainly enjoy basking in the warm glow of A Southern Sun.