Friday, March 22, 2024


Coyote Flow Music (2023)

Pianist/keyboardist Timothy Wenzel already had a great knack for composing memorable melodic music going back to his earliest releases. However, I once pointed out in a review back then that using keyboard samples of other instruments, e.g., violin, lessened the overall quality of the compositions. He obviously listened as he started using guest stars on their assorted instruments. The impact has been an substantial improvement, and on his newest release, Immerse, Wenzel has taken yet another step forward as the melodies on this album showcase a depth and maturity and an emotional focus that clearly elevates him to the upper echelon of similar artists.

There is an inherent and palpable melancholy and loneliness to Wenzel’s compositions on Immerse and, in fact, he alluded to this when he sent me notes for the one-sheet I wrote for him: “I often write in winter, when I can walk the countryside alone, especially at night and then return to the warm studio. So being alone is one theme: solitude, time to think and all those things a card-carrying introvert needs for happiness and productivity.” It’s Wenzel’s ability to tap into this deep well-spring of emotion that flows through all twelve of Immerse’s tracks.

Much of the album is mid to slow paced which suits the songs’ melodies perfectly. Something of interest to me is how Wenzel’s music can be quite dramatic without resorting to the loudness of a piece, powerful bombast, or other issues that are used by some other artists to emphasize the “oomph” of a particular song. This quality which he exhibits increases the “play-through” of Immerse, meaning that for most people, they would not need to skip a track in order to not “break the overall mood.” While melodies are most prominent on the album, subtle percussion does come into play on five tracks, and when it is there it fits in perfectly.  Some of this is likely/certainly due to Corin Nelsen’s superb work at the board (he is credited with producing, mixing, and mastering the recording).

The album opener, “The Gale,” features all but one of the guest artists (see details below) contributing and it’s one of the few “faster” songs, driven especially by the violin of Josie Quick and cello of Graham Cullen. Mid-song, Wenzel incorporates a warm but eerie keyboard sound before transitioning to piano. The moodiness of the song is a major component its favor. Choral samples mid-song on the title track are spot on in execution. One of my favorite songs here is “Taliesen” (the name for each of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wisconsin and Arizona homes/studios) due to a wonderful piano refrain (heard most prominently at the outset). The album concludes with “Thank You for Your Smile," which is the warmest song on Immerse and offers a sincerely charming evocation to close out things.

I’ve followed Timothy Wenzel from his first release to now and am impressed how, with each successive release, he delves deeper into his muse as well consistently elevating both his performing and composing talent. I have no doubt he will continue to favor us with his music, which is something to be glad about.

All music composed by Timothy Wenzel
Album produced, mixed and mastered by Corin Nelsen (SynchroSonic Productions)
Album recorded by the artists except where noted below* (recorded at SynchorSonic)
Album artwork, design, and photography by Timothy Wenzel

Timothy Wenzel: Piano, keyboards, synthesizers
Josie Quick: Violin*
Tom Carleno: Acoustic guitar
David Cullen: Electric guitar*
Graham Cullen: Cello*
Jill Haley: English horn
Jeff Haynes: Percussion




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